Saturday 26 May 2018

Irish Ferries operator agrees sale of Jonathan Swift for €15.5m

ICG boss Eamonn Rothwell. Photo: Mac Innes
ICG boss Eamonn Rothwell. Photo: Mac Innes
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish Ferries operator, Irish Continental Group, has agreed to sell high speed craft Jonathan Swift to Balearia Eurolineas Maritimas for €15.5m.

The €15.5m sale price is less brokers commission and less a 10pc deposit.

The vessel is to be delivered by the end of April 2018.

The Jonathan Swift which was commissioned by and delivered to ICG in 1999 and has since operated on the company's Dublin - Holyhead route.

The vessel will be replaced by another high speed craft, the 2001 built Westpac Express, which was recently redelivered to the group following a period of twenty months on external charter.

The Westpac Express is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme to bring her up to Irish Ferries passenger service standards, ICG said today.

Upon delivery to the group in 1999, the Jonathan Swift cost the group €38.8m.

The disposal will generate a book profit for ICG of approximately €14.0m, the proceeds of which will be used for general corporate purposes.

Earlier this month the company announced plans to spend €165m on the building of a huge new ferry for the Dublin-Holyhead route.

The ship, which will be delivered in 2020 - the year after the UK is due to leave the EU - will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity.

CEO Eamonn Rothwell said at the time that the investment "underpins the confidence" the group has in the markets in which it operates.

The new ferry will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with capacity for 5,610 freight lane metres, allowing it to carry 330 freight units per sailing.

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