Lovells scores Infracapital instruction on purchase of Red Funnel

Lovells has fended off rivals Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer to bag a lead role on the purchase of Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel.

The firm’s team, led by property finance partner Andrew Briggs, advised Prudential infrastructure fund Infracapital on the £200m acquisition.

The firm has advised on previous deals for Infracapital, but this is the largest role it has had for the company to date.

Briggs said: “We advised it on the Associated British Ports acquisition last year, but that was a smaller role advising on the equity stake. This is significant for us.”

Red Funnel was previously owned by the company’s management team as well as HBOS, which owned a 49 per cent stake. The ferry operator previously changed hands in 2004 when HBOS acquired it from JPMorgan’s private equity arm for £100m.

Briggs said: “Infrastructure is a sector in its own right. It doesn’t fall into a private equity structure or a public/ private model. It’s a blend of these different areas and this makes it very interesting from a legal perspective.”

DLA Piper, led by Mel Sims, advised HBOS on the transaction, while Lamport Bassitt Solicitors advised Red Funnel’s management.