Red Funnel has a new owner, with a consortium of British and Canadian pension schemes, led by the West Midland Pensions Fund and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of the Province of Ontario, buying the historic operator of car ferry and high-speed services from Southampton to Cowes.

No price has been disclosed but previous owner Infracapital paid £200 million for the company in 2007 and earlier this year there was talk of an asking price in the region of £250 million.

Red Funnel chief executive Kevin George said: ‘We are all excited to be working with the consortium as we continue to grow the business and provide safe and reliable ferry services.”

Red Funnel is currently working on projects including new high-speed units and a fresh generation of hybrid ro-pax ferries. RP