Eurotunnel Contests Planned SeaFrance Purchase, Le Figaro Says

Groupe Eurotunnel told France’s antitrust regulator the planned purchase of French ferry operator SeaFrance by LD Lines and DFDS Seaways would restrict competition, Le Figaro reported, citing a letter by Eurotunnel.

LD Lines and DFDS Seaways, which also operate ferries, plan to buy three of SeaFrance’s four boats and create a new entity that would operate their routes, Le Figaro said. LD Lines and DFDS Seaways would benefit from public funds for the transaction, creating an unacceptable advantage, Eurotunnel was cited as saying in the letter.

Each SeaFrance boat is valued at about 75 million euros ($103 million), according to the French daily. LD Lines and DFDS Seaways plan to invest 50 million euros on SeaFrance in two years, Le Figaro said. SeaFrance operates routes from Calais to Dover and carries more than 3.5 million passengers a year, according to its web site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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