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Eurotunnel forced to sell its ferry business after court ruling

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Eurotunnel has been forced to cease operating its cross-channel ferry business after losing a court appeal...

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|Jan 12|magazine5 min read

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Eurotunnel has been forced to cease operating its cross-channel ferry business after losing a court appeal, and has subsequently put MyFerryLink up for sale.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) recognised the validity of the appeal case put forward by the Group and, independently by the SCOP workers co-operative, but decided that these were not sufficient to overturn again the decision taken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), published on 18 September, 2014.

The CAT upheld the decision that MyFerryLink has six months to stop operating out of Dover, and Eurotunnel will not be pursuing the case after this second appeal failure. Eurotunnel acquired the assets of the defunct company, SeaFrance, in June 2012 following an open and public process. 

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel stated: “MyFerryLink is an operating and commercial success. This decision is illogical. It reduces competition across the short straits and it is contrary to the interests of free trade.

“The CAT is forcing Groupe Eurotunnel to withdraw from this activity. We are proud to have succeeded where so many others have failed. Given the position of the British authorities, the future of MyFerryLink will now be determined outside the Group.”

Groupe Eurotunnel subcontracted the operation of the ferries Rodin, Berlioz and Nord-Pas-de-Calais to an independent company, the SCOP SeaFrance. Operations began on 20 August 2012 and last year MyFerryLink, the maritime business owned by the Group, achieved its objectives with close to 400,000 trucks and 350,000 cars transported. 

Gounon added: “Groupe Eurotunnel is proud to have created a competitive and respected cross-Channel ferry brand in just two and a half years. Groupe Eurotunnel congratulates the SCOP, its management and staff for their professionalism and the quality of their service.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.eurotunnelgroup.com/uk/media/press-releases/