6 Dec 2016

Aussies buy NZ transport companies

3:48 pm on 6 December 2016

One of the country's leading transport groups is being bought by Australian investors after the death of transport industry veteran Jim Barker.

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Photo: Supplied

Shipping, trucking and freight forwarding companies owned by Mr Barker are being sold to Australian investment funds operated by Champ Private Equity.

The sale involves Strait Shipping - which has coastal shipping services and the Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry service - as well as long-distance transport firm Freight Lines and the freight-forwarding business Streamline.

Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison said her father was involved in the deal up to his death in August.

She said while it was the end of an era for the family, it offered a positive future for the businesses.

"We are extremely proud of these three leading New Zealand transport businesses and we are excited about their future under a new growth focused ownership."

The Barker family will retain ownership of two other trucking firms: Bulklines and Stocklines. No price has been disclosed.

The managing director of the Australian funds, Cameron Buchanan, said his company wanted to expand the businesses.

"We're committed to building on the strong foundations the Barker family has created and growing these businesses for the benefit of not only investors but also the wider New Zealand freight and passenger transport markets."