French ferry company SeaFrance has suspended services today ahead of a court hearing that will dictate the future of the company.

The court will decide whether SeaFrance, which has been in administration since June 2010, will be sold or liquidated.

A statement on the company’s website said the board and receivers had decided, along with the French authorities, to suspend operations from 4am today. They may be resumed after the hearing.

It said: “We have taken this decision, with full knowledge of the consequences, to safeguard the security of the passengers, crews, vehicles and ships. We are conscious of the inconvenience this situation is causing and we apologise for this. We will keep you informed of any changes in the present situation.”

A spokeswoman said customers with forward bookings would have their tickets transferred to another operator.

According to reports, a joint venture between ferry companies DFDS and LD Lines, and a separate bid from a SeaFrance staff and union co-operative, have been tabled to acquire the company’s ships. An earlier court hearing valued the SeaFrance fleet at between €123m and €168m.

SeaFrance operates ferry services between Calais and Dover and is 100% owned by the French railways, SNCF. It carries more than 3.5 million passengers a year.