Danish ferry operator seeks to buy UN Ro-Ro

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Danish shipping company DFDS on Thursday agreed to acquire 98.8 percent stake of UN Ro-Ro, Turkey’s largest operator of freight shipping routes in the Mediterranean, connecting Turkey with Italy and France. “DFDS will acquire UN Ro-Ro for €950 million ($1.175 billion) on a debt-free basis, which will be mainly funded through committed debt financing,” the Danish company announced in a statement.

The transaction is expected to be closed in June 2018 after approval of Turkish, Austrian and German competition authorities as well as Italian authorities in relation to the transfer of the Trieste terminal as a strategic asset, the statement said.

“The acquisition expands DFDS’ route network to include the fast growing transport market between Turkey and EU,” it added.

Niels Smedegaard, the chief executive officer of DFDS, said the company will expand its ferry routes in one of Europe’s “most attractive” freight markets which is operationally similar to northern Europe thanks to the acquisition.

“This gives us opportunity together with the existing strong management team to leverage our network, fleet, experience, and skills to develop the business further while supporting the growth of UN Ro-Ro’s customers,” Smedegaard said.

Selcuk Boztepe, the CEO of UN Ro-Ro, also stated that know-how, combined network capabilities, and the financial strength of DFDS will help them to enhance the competitiveness of Turkish exporters and international logistics companies.

Turkey’s UN Ro-Ro operates five freight shipping routes in the Mediterranean and carried 202,000 freight units in 2017, corresponding to a 34% percent of the total market including land transport, according to DFDS.

“UN Ro-Ro is highly profitable and the leading operator with a market shares twice that of the next competitor in Turkey,” it said.

The statement noted that the acquisition was expected to be earnings accretive from the first year. AA