StraitNZ owner sells ferry and freightforwarding business – reports

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The company that owns the Bluebridge ferry has reportedly been sold for more than half a billion New Zealand dollars.

Bluebridge Ferry.
Photo: RNZ / Ruth Hill

The Australian Financial Review is reporting that StraitNZ’s owner, Sydney-based CPE Capital, had sold the passenger ferry and freightforwarding business to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners for more than $500 million (AU$472m).

The company was started 29 years ago, and its website states that it owned two ferries, 150 vehicles, and operated a nationwide network of depots which employ more than 500 staff.

The AFR also reported that CPE sold its infrastructure supplies business, Jaybro, on the same day to Quadrant Private Equity for between AU$600 million and AU$650m.

CPE purchased Strait Shipping, which operates Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries, and Freight Lines from New Zealander Jim Barker, as well as the freight forwarding company Streamline, to create StraitNZ in 2018.

Investment bank Macquarie had been a minority shareholder with a 25 percent stake since mid-2018. As part of the deal, Macquarie will also sell its position.

The company reportedly generates about $175m in revenue per year and $45m in underlying profit.

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