By Reuters 2015-06-07 19:10:52
Eurotunnel, the operator of the undersea rail link between England and France, said on Sunday it reluctantly agreed to sell its Calais-to-Dover ferry business, MyFerryLink, to DFDS, a Danish competitor on the same sea route.
The company is a forced seller of the service because of antitrust action. It said it had wanted to sell the business to a workers’ cooperative, SCOP SeaFrance, rather than to DFDS.
The price was not disclosed.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been examining Eurotunnel’s move into the ferry market since 2012 when the company bought the former SeaFrance ferries from French rail operator SNCF. A tribunal earlier this year ruled it should cease on the grounds it was too dominant in cross-channel traffic.
Eurotunnel announced the MyFerryLink exit plan on May 28, even though a British court in the meantime had contradicted the tribunal ruling and cleared the way for continued operation.
The company said it made the decision because it feared the CMA would continue its campaign despite the ruling.
DFDS shares reached a record last week after Eurotunnel’s decision to sell up. Analysts had said the exit was good news for DFDS, and predicted correctly that it might buy the ferries.
In its statement on Sunday, Eurotunnel said it “regrets that the SCOP SeaFrance has not had the support it needed to be able to present a takeover proposal.”