CONDOR Ferries, the operator of Poole’s link with the Channel Islands, is to be sold to a consortium that consists of an investment fund and Brittany Ferries.

The new owner says it will work toward the “long term security and development” of Condor’s services.

Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) is the majority partner in the consortium that has reached a deal to buy the company. Brittany Ferries, the French operator which runs the Barfleur from Poole to Cherbourg, has a minority stake.

The consortium agreed to buy the ferry from an investment fund owned by Australia-based Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

Condor carries around a million passengers a year between the Channel Islands, the UK and St Malo in France. Its UK operations are based in Poole, Portsmouth and Plymouth.

In recent years, its Poole services have been plagued by problems with the £50million ferry it bought and put into service in 2015 as Condor Liberation. It collided with a quay in Guernsey on its second day of operation and suffered a string of technical faults.

Heiko Schupp, global head of infrastructure investments at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “This agreement is exciting news for us as it marks the first investment for the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund. Its evergreen structure suits long-term, income-producing infrastructure assets such as Condor Ferries. We are delighted to have partnered with Brittany Ferries and look forward to working with management, employees and the Channel Islands towards the long-term security and development of Condor’s ferry services.”

Christophe Mathieu, chief executive of Brittany Ferries, said: “We are delighted to be part of the consortium that has agreed to acquire Condor Ferries.

“Brittany Ferries and Condor enjoy a long history in commercial operations and a closer cooperation between the two companies will create opportunities for sharing expertise and best practice. We believe this is a positive step and look forward to playing our part in supporting the economies and communities of the Channel Islands into the long term.”

Brittany’s chairman, Jean-Marc Roue, said: “I am proud and honoured that we have concluded a partnership with the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund. It allows us to reconnect with a route to the Channel Islands that Brittany Ferries operated in the past.”

Condor’s chief executive, Paul Luxon, also said he was “delighted” with the deal.

“The new shareholders wholeheartedly share our vision and strategy for maintaining and developing essential Channel Islands’ lifeline ferry services across the freight supply chain, islander travel and tourism sectors,” he said.

He added: “Condor Ferries’ management and staff will continue to deliver the five year business plan that is underway and focus on providing efficient and effective sea connectivity to support the Channel Islands’ economies.”