Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 08-05-2018

Government confirms intention to buy Steam Packet Company

by TH

Government confirms intention to buy Steam Packet Company

The Manx Government says it has negotiated a deal to buy the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Treasury Minister Alf Cannan has tabled a motion for this month's sitting of Tynwald.

It will ask for £124 million to purchase 100 per cent of MIOM Ltd – the parent company of the Steam Packet.

Mr Cannan says: "We believe it is in the best interests of our people and our economy to take a controlling stake in the national ferry operation rather than commit the Island to another long-term agreement with an external provider.

"The government has not been in a position to explain its intentions to the public before now because of the commercial confidentiality of the negotiations.

"However we believe we are paying a fair price to secure a profitable, cash generative national asset and gain strategic control of our sea services."

The Isle of Man Government has been considering its options since Tynwald voted in July last year to reject the IoM Steam Packet’s revised offer of a new strategic sea services agreement to replace the existing Linkspan User Agreement.

Confidential negotiations have taken place between the Government and MIOM Ltd and its current owners regarding a potential deal.

Agreement has been reached on terms and conditions and the acquisition will be progressed if Tynwald Members approve the Treasury motion.

While the move would immediately bring ferry operations into public ownership, the government has stated that it would not take charge of the day-to-day running of services.

The business would be run at arm's length from government with options for either a partner or other investors to be considered in due course after completion.

Finances would be restructured to minimise the outlay from Reserves.

If the Tynwald motion succeeds, the Government would seek to put in place a new strategic sea services agreement within the next 12 months.

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