Stena Line has expressed its delight at the announcement that its acquisition of the DFDS routes from Belfast to Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Belfast to Heysham has been fully approved by the Competition Commission.
The acquisition, which amounts to approximately £40M investment, will enable Stena Line to improve its service on the Irish Sea by offering several different alternatives for transportation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and will improve service and frequency for passengers and freight.
Irish Sea Area Director Michael McGrath said: “We are naturally delighted to have been given the green light by the UK Competition Commission and will now engage in a process of evaluation and integration in terms of the wider Stena Line business. We have always believed that the DFDS acquisition would make a perfect fit for our business and our customers and we are looking forward to implementing our extended route network on the Irish Sea. We believe that the acquisition also strengthens Belfast as a key transport hub within our route network for both freight and tourism traffic.”
As part of the deal Stena Line will also acquire four ships from DFDS which will include the chartered Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways on the Belfast-Liverpool route and the freight carriers Scotia Seaways and Hibernia Seaways. This will bring the number of Stena Line routes on the Irish Sea to six, adding to the existing Stranraer-Belfast, Holyhead-Dublin, Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard-Rosslare ferry routes.