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BC PacifiCats sold to Abu Dhabi; TransLink, Ferries review ordered

July 28th, 2009 · 11 Comments

It was a busy day at council, but I was working on another project and then, later in the afternoon, ended up SkyTraining it out to Metrotown for yet more news breaking there: the province’s announcement that it is reviewing the governance, finances and jurisdiction of our two transportation agencies.

Then, after getting the info on that, we ended up tagging on the new news that the most famous ferries of all in the fleet, well, formerly of the fleet, are being sold. And a news release from the shipyard workers says the rumoured price is $50 million — a bit more than the $19.5 the Liberals sold them off for.

That story is up on the website now.

I’ll catch up with the bale of council news tomorrow: the attempt to find a solution for the heritage density program; laneway housing; the industrial land/Cambie planning issue etc.

Thanks to all commenters today for the good discussion about prices to build a laneway house.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Frothingham

    30 – 20 million profit ain’t bad. for a few years of storage

  • Mary

    don’t forget depreciation and the damage that sitting in the saltchuck for X years can do…

  • Frothingham

    …dry dock 😉

  • I was never sure if the Liberals had lowballed the Pacificat sale to make the optics look as bad as possible for the outcome of an NDP project. As Frothingham says, not a bad profit at all.

  • whatever

    That works out to close to 20% per year return… but unlike Madoff, these were real returns.

  • Not Running for Mayor

    Missing too many details to calculated how much Washington Marine Group has made on the deal. Is shipping and delivery insurance included in that price? are they any changes to the ferries included? Is there a warranty provided? I have no doubt they will pocket some money but it might not be as sweet as it looks right now

  • Blaffergassted

    Is it true this deal was done BEFORE the provincial election?

  • urb anwriter

    Frotheringham: not sure if you were being facetious, or sarcastic, but I can assure you that those boats didn’t spend all that time in the drydock.

    Also, in all the hubbub at the time I thought it very interesting that the engine failures were played up – but, and I might have missed it – there was little play on the Mercedes connection.

    And from a distance at least one of the boats has been over at VanShip for some period of time – and the odd spark of spool-guns visible from the Vancouver side.

    Would the Liberals ‘really’ low-ball a bid to make the NDP look bad?

  • > Would the Liberals ‘really’ low-ball a bid to make the NDP look bad?

    Hell yes. In just this last election we had a budget surprise that was some 30% off pre-election talk, withholding welfare numbers until after the election, destruction of emails around the sale of BC Rail, and so on. The Pacificats were such a hot button topic when they came into power that selling them quickly and pitching it as a ‘no-nonsense cutting of losses’ move played very well into the marketing, so I can see accepting a low offer to make the loss look bigger. In the end, they can just blame it on the previous government. Don’t think for a second they care about how tax money is saved or spent; it’s only about power.

  • further to the discussion of the FastCats and salt-water… they’re made of aluminum. Rust is not the issue it is with steel boats. IIRC, as long as the boats have ‘zincs’ attached they’ll do just fine.

    Regarding the deal itself, Washington Marine Group has an enviable track record for making money. My guess is that the deal is a good one for them. BC taxpayers on the other hand….

    Fast, mostly passenger ferries are going to be a popular item in just a few years when fewer and fewer people will bring their cars to and from Vancouver Island. It’s a shame we saw our investment parleyed into a cynical political move.

  • Mary