Macquarie Bank acquires Isle of Man Steam Packet Group

20 October 2005

Macquarie Bank Limited (MBL) announced today it has acquired 100 per cent of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Group Limited (Steam Packet) from Montagu Private Equity for a total consideration of225 million (A$526 million).

Steam Packet, formed in 1830, is the longest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world. The company provides ferry services between the main port of Douglas on the Isle of Man and four ports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its services are the only means of roll-on/roll-off freight transportation and passenger ferry services to the island.

The acquisition includes Steam Packet's vessels, buildings, land holdings and other assets.

MBL will subscribe for ₤40.6 million (A$95.0 million) in equity under the terms of its agreement. The impact on MBL's regulatory capital ratios during the holding period is not significant.

MBL will explore a range of options for its holding, including the potential transfer to a Macquarie managed fund within the next six to 12 months.

The Chief Financial Officer of Macquarie Bank, Mr Greg Ward, said Steam Packet is an attractive investment that fits with the Macquarie Group's strategy of investing in essential service infrastructure businesses.

The company has a user agreement with the Isle of Man Government, which effectively gives it exclusive access to the port of Douglas - the main population centre and port for the island which receives around 90 per cent of all freight deliveries. In December 2004, the user agreement was extended to 2020, with an option for either the Company or the Isle of Man Government to extend for a further six years to 2026.

The Isle of Man has a robust domestic economy. The island has experienced substantial inward investment over the last decade and real economic growth of 5.3 per cent annually over the last five years.

For further information, please contact:

Erica Sibree
Investor Relations
Macquarie Bank Limited
Tel: (612) 8232 5008
Mobile: (614) 1302 6309

Matthew Russell
Public Relations
Macquarie Bank Limited
Tel: (612) 8232 4102
Mobile: (614) 1069 9532

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