Buyer still sought for John O’Groats Ferries

Buyer still sought for John O'Groats Ferries

Family-owned company John O’Groats Ferries is continuing to seek a buyer with a new asking price of £1.4 million.

The company, owned by Fred Fermor, operates a regular ferry service from John O’Groats in Caithness to the Orkney Islands, as well as providing tours and wildlife cruises.

Mr Fermor said: “We’ve enjoyed running things here at John O’Groats Ferries for many years and could happily keep going on, but having now passed the 60-year marker, we feel it’s a good time to try something new.

“We’ll be taking life a bit easier and travelling more but in some ways it’s a reluctant sale – I say this because it’s been a very enjoyable way to earn a living and we’ve had a lot of laughs throughout the years.”

He added: “There’s is undoubtedly scope for a new owner to expand the business in many ways. We have concentrated on the core product – running a good ferry service and giving visitors wonderful memories.

“However, we’ve not even broken the surface of providing ancillary services, catering souvenirs and the like and there are opportunities aplenty there.

“There is also further scope to increase the range of tours offered and a new owner could easily increase turnover there too.

“As a five month per year trading business, there is massive scope to increase turnover by extending the operating season.”

Mark Lavery, associate director at Christie & Co, which is handling the sale, said: “John O’Groats Ferries is quite a unique lifestyle business in a stunning part of Scotland.

“The opportunity gives any prospective buyer a ready built, robust business with a reliable, strong, income stream from day one and would suit an operator who would relish a true ‘lifestyle change’ business with high profit margins.”

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