Bay of Fundy ferry service bought by managers

CHARLOTTETOWN — Northumberland Ferries and Bay Ferries have been sold by NFL Holdings to a team of the company’s own senior managers.

The sale of the private ferry operations was finalized late last month.

Mark MacDonald will be the president and CEO. He is joined by three current members of the company’s senior management team.

The company had been controlled by 30 individuals — mainly the descendants of the families that originally founded Northumberland Ferries in 1939.

New management of NFL Holdings says service
will not change after the acquisition.

Northumberland Ferries runs ferry service between Wood Island, P.E.I. and Caribou, N.S.; Bay Ferries provides service from Digby, N.S., and Saint John, N.B., and high-speed service between Yarmouth, N.S., and Maine.

“Although ownership has changed, the things that matter most to our customers, the communities we serve, and our employees will remain the same,” said MacDonald in a press release.

The company had its share of financial trouble over the last few years. Last summer, Nova Scotia announced a $2 million lifeline to Bay Ferries Ltd. in order to keep the Digby-Saint John cargo service operating.

Months before, Bay Ferries warned that skyrocketing fuel costs, a drop in tourism and forestry exports, would force the company to anchor its service permanently. There was talk that the Princess of Acadia would make its final trip across the Bay of Fundy by the end of 2006.

Area truckers rely on the service to deliver fresh seafood and lumber to U.S. East Coast markets.

Financial information on the transaction was not disclosed.

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