Channel ferry firm seeks takeover

The newest ferry company operating from a Kent port is proposing to takeover a rival to save hundreds of jobs.

LD Lines, which operates between Dover and Boulogne and Dieppe, said it would make a formal bid for SeaFrance.

SeaFrance, which sails to Calais, this week said it may axe 650 French jobs to survive a steep fall in the cross-Channel freight market.

Its owner, French rail operator SNCF, said it had not received any formal takeover proposals.

Christophe Santini of LD Lines said the company was expanding and would save at least 350 jobs if the takeover went ahead.