The Captain Cook Cruises company is about to create the biggest ferry fleet in Australia

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

SeaLink Travel Group, which runs Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney and the Kangaroo Island Ferry, is buying the company which operates Stradbroke Ferries for $125 million.

The company says it will acquire 100% of Transit Systems Marine business, which includes passenger and car ferry services in south-east Queensland and in Gladstone.

The deal will more than double the SeaLink fleet of vessels from 27 to 60. As a consolidated group SeaLink will be the largest marine transport and tourism business in Australia, transporting more than six million passengers and employing 900 staff.

To partly fund the deal, SeaLink also announced a successful capital raising through the placement of 16 million shares at $2.50 each.

Shareholders will also have the opportunity to buy shares of up to $15,000 each to raise another $16.9 million.

And Transit Systems Marine will received 3.2 million SeaLink shares ($8 million) as part payment.

The difference, about $57 million, will be funded by a bank loan.

Managing director Jeff Ellison says the deal also reinforces the company’s position as the leading provider of marine ferry services in Australia.

Sealink shares were up ore than 12% to $3.11.

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