London – LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – DLA Piper has advised Bank of …

London – LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – DLA Piper has advised Bank of Scotland Corporate on the sale of its 49% share in Red Funnel Group, the Isle of Wight ferry operator, to Infracapital Partners LP, the infrastructure fund of the Prudential Group.

DLA Piper originally acted for the Bank of Scotland Corporate in June 2004 when it provided a £60 million integrated debt and equity package to Red Funnel Group. The funding enabled Red Funnel Group’s existing management team to buy the business from JP Morgan, with the Bank of Scotland taking a substantial minority stake in the new vehicle.

The DLA Piper team was led by corporate partner Mel Sims, with assistance from Chris Cawthorne (corporate) and Amber Matthews (corporate), Theresa Zacharias (corporate),Alex Griffiths (banking) and James Malcolm (pensions).

This latest transaction represents a tertiary buy-out for the existing Red Funnel management team, who will remain unchanged and who will continue to hold a significant equity stake in the business going forward.

Mel Sims, partner at DLA Piper, commented: “It has been a very busy week as we have not only acted for the Bank of Scotland in relation to the purchase by Versaille Bidco of David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, but we have also acted on behalf of the Bank on the sale of Red Funnel to Infracapital, having previously acted for the Bank on their inward investment a little over three years ago.

“This sale was effected through an auction process, which was one of the smoothest and friendliest auction processes that I have ever gone through. I am delighted that management who were involved with the original buy-out, and continued through the secondary buy-out, are now involved in this tertiary buy-out, representing continued succession within a business that continues to succeed.”

Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry operator, incorporated in 1861, is an integrated travel, transport and leisure company operating ferry services between Southampton on the UK mainland and the Isle of Wight. Red Funnel’s fleet consists of 3 ro-ro vehicle ferries and 4 high-speed passenger-only catamarans together with its road haulage operations, Red Funnel Distribution.

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