Deal between Attica and Grimaldi Group consolidates Greek ferry scene

By | 2017 Newsletter week 44 | No Comments

The fight for the ownership of Hellenic Seaways (HSW) is over. Attica Holdings and Grimaldi Group have reached an agreement on October 26, where HSW will be almost fully owned by Attica

  • Minoan Lines, a Grimaldi Group company, will transfer all its HSW shares (48.53%) to Attica Holdings, for €78.5 million. The latter already became the majority shareholder in August when acquiring 50.3% of the share capital from Piraeus Bank.
  • Attica Ferries Maritime Company will sell ro-pax SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. Price tag: €74,5 million. The SUPERFAST XII is currently operating on the long route Piraeus – Patmos – Leros – Kalymnos – Kos – Rhodes & Syros – Katapola, for the Blue Star Ferries brand.
  • Fast (car) ferry HIGHSPEED 7 will change hands from Hellenic Seaways to Minoan Lines for €25 million. HIGHSPEED 7 operates from Heraklion to Santorini
  • The completion of the deal will need to be approved by the Greek competition authority.

This deal is the most logic solution for the control over HSW, where two competitors basically both owned half of the company, with Attica at a small advantage. There was only one way: either Grimaldi, or Attica had to become the sole owner.

Now that Attica fully controls HSW, it will certainly create a high degree of rationalization on the Greek domestic routes. Attica/HSW will have the Aegean, and Grimaldi Group will –via Minoan Lines– have the Crete routes to Piraeus and Santorini / Cyclades. Grimaldi gets money to invest, and gets two modern ships.

Attica/HSW will now be able to reshuffle ships and routes for a better utilization. This economy of scale will be something attractive for investors. The domestic horizon will change, for sure.
It is noteworthy to remember that Attica also has a cooperation with ANEK Lines, on Crete (Heraklion and Chania, the headquarters of ANEK) and in the Adriatic. Could this cooperation develop further? Time will tell.

Part of the deal is the sale of the SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. This ro-pax was built in 2002 bij Flender Werft, Lübeck.

Photos © Mike Louagie

Denmark to sell its part in ferry company Faergen

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Danish online business media started to report that the Danish Government has initiated a sales process that will lead to the sale of the State’s share of the shipping company Faergen.
This company operates five domestic routes, and the routes from Sweden and Germany to the island of Bornholm. Their “lifeline” contract on Bornholm ends after the summer of 2018, and is then going to be taken over by Mols Linjen.

Source: InsideBusiness  – Photo © Faergen

Without proper investments motorway closure will reoccur, says Stena Line

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The management of Stena Line Irish Sea urged the ministry of transport to invest in the roads to and from its port at Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway. The message came after severe flooding, which caused the closure of the A77 for almost 24 hours. This caused major disruption for freight and tourism traffic using the ports.
“Incidents like the weekend put a sharp focus on the limitations of the current road infrastructure in the region and we would urge local politicians to work with us to help the people and economy of South West Scotland get the road network they now desperately deserve,” said Paul Grant, Stena Line Irish Sea North.

A Transport Scotland spokesman promised to discuss the matter with Stena Line and added that plans are on their way to have a new bypass (at Maybole), on top of the several past investments.

Photo © Stena Line

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After her maiden calls at Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, CLdN’s 7,800 lane meter CELINE has been in Dublin for the first time too. The photo shows her on the way back, passing Dalkey Island, south of Dublin Bay.
Photo © Gordon Hislip

On Monday 30 October CELINE was on the Thames, paying a visit to CLdN’s Purfleet terminal. This photo shows perfectly the difference in size with WILHELMINE. That’s 7,800 lane meter versus 2,300.
Photo © Nick Widdows

Rostock unhappy with Lübeck’s port lease waiver

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LN Online reports that the port of Rostock has filed a complaint with the European Commission regarding the decision of the city of Lübeck to waive the lease of LHG, Lübeck’s port authority company. Rostock sees it as a distortion of competition.
SPD mayor Bernd Saxe says that accountancy and law firms did the necessary research, and came to the conclusion there was no illegal aid.
LN Online sees another reason behind the complaint: LHG wants to invest in the move of a Swedish paper customer from the Nordlandkai (Lübeck) to the Skandinavienkai (Travemünde). Port of Lübeck needs the renouncement of the lease as part of a rescue plan. Without rescue the port cannot invest in the terminal, and that might cause the customer to shift from Lübeck to Rostock.
Two years ago Lübeck already lost UPM to Rostock.

Ports of Ghent and Zeeland Seaports create a European port

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The city council of Ghent has agreed on merging the Belgian Port of Ghent and the Dutch Zeeland Seaports, which include Terneuzen and Vlissingen, into one new port company.
All ships bound for Ghent have to pass the locks in Terneuzen, and sail on the Canal that is 32km long (with 14km on Dutch territory, and 18 on Belgian). The strong link between the two ports is quite obvious.
DFDS is one of the big customers for Ghent, with a service from and to Gothenburg. The automotive industry plays an important role with a Volvo factory, and a Honda Logistics hub.
Both Terneuzen and Vlissingen have ro-ro terminals.

Photo © Port of Ghent

More Corsica for Moby Line

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Next year Moby Line will have more ferries on the Corsica routes. From the ports of Nice, Genoa and Livorno, up to five ro-pax ferries will be used to connect mainland France and Italy with Corsica. MOBY VINCENT, MOBY CORSE and MOBY ZAZA are regular visitors of Bastia. Next year MOBY KISS and MOBY NIKI will join them.
Genoa-Bastia and Livorno-Bastia lines are seasonal routes from March till September, with four departures per day.
Nice-Bastia has four weekly departures in low season, and daily departures from end of May till end of September.

Source: Ship2Shore – Photo: MOBY ZAZA © Mike Louagie

Irish Ferries announces daily departures to France for summer 2018

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Irish Ferries has published details of the new sailings schedule it will introduce following the arrival in mid-2018 of its new cruise ferry W. B. YEATS currently being built in Flensburg, Germany.


Highlights of the plan:

Ireland – France

  • A doubling in the number of summer sailings between Ireland and France – offering daily departures alternatively from both Dublin and Rosslare.
  • On the Dublin – Cherbourg route, up to four return sailings weekly on what is becoming an increasingly popular route for the summer season.
  • The route Rosslare – Cherbourg / Roscoff operated by ro-pax OSCAR WILDE will include an increase in the number of summertime departures to Roscoff.
  • In the winter season, the ro-pax EPSILON will replace the W.B. YEATS providing a year–round service from Dublin to France.

Ireland – UK

  • From mid-September, W. B. YEATS will transfer to the Dublin – Holyhead route, where she will operate together with ULYSSES.
  • Fast ferry JONATHAN SWIFT will operate a summer only schedule.

Photo © Irish Ferries


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  • On November 3rd, FRS Hanseferry has a special boat trip on offer on the Elbe. The idea is to follow during one hour the cargo ship that will carry the former fast ferry HALUNDER JET from Hamburg to Canada. After 15 years of service on Helgoland, the ferry will serve the FRS-owned Clipper Navigation route between Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Brittany Ferries has confirmed the charter of a Stena Line vessel under construction in China, for the routes to Spain. The charter will come with more on-board accommodation and a large garage for passenger and freight vehicles. She will replace BAIE DE SEINE and Brittany Ferries will have the option to purchase after the expiry of the initial five year charter..