P&O Ferries has announced that it is not a candidate for the takeover of the struggling French ferry operator Seafrance. Officially there still are 4 candidates left which have placed a sealed bid for the French ferry operator out of the 15 interested parties who initially placed a bid.
P&O Ferries said that the current economic downturn and possible monopoly issues on the Dover – Calais ferry route stopped them from making an offer on their rival. There is no information available on who the other two interested parties are but they could be other rival ferry companies operating on the Channel or other UK – Europe ferry routes.
On the 15th of November the bids will be reviewed by representatives of SNCF, the French Ministry of Transport and the European commission and will be decided which bids will be accepted. Industry experts expect that LD Lines and Brittany Ferries both stand a good chance to become the new owner of the French ferry operator which currently operates a route between Dover and Calais.
Seafrance ferries has been struggling for a couple of years now due to a drop in freight shipments, strong competition from rival ferry companies on the English Channel and several attempts to restructure and save the company have failed.