Danish shipping and logistics group DFDS – northern Europe's largest logistics company – has announced the acquisition of a 98.8 percent stake in Turkish freight shipping operator U.N. Ro-Ro – Turkey's largest operator of ro-ro (roll on/roll off) freight ships – from Turkish private equity companies Actera Group and Esas Holdings for EUR 950 million on a debt-free basis.
According to DFDS, this acquisition of the largest player in the Turkish market is aimed at increasing DFDS’s presence in the Mediterranean and making it a major player in the growing transport market between the EU and Turkey.
U.N. Ro-Ro operates five routes connecting Italy and France with Turkey. It runs 12 ships and manages port terminals in Trieste, Italy and in Pendik, near Istanbul in Turkey. The routes connect the Turkish ports of Pendik, Ambarli and Mersin with Trieste and Bari in Italy, Toulon in France, and Patras in Greece. In cooperation with rail operators, U.N. Ro-Ro also offers intermodal transport between key EU markets and the ports.
Commenting on the deal, DFDS CEO and President Niels Smedegaard said, “Trade with the EU is extremely dynamic. Since U.N. Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, seaborne trade has continued to take market share from road transport where congestion, border controls, and customs formalities hinder the flow. Today, 55 percent of the trade is seaborne – and the share continues to grow, benefiting U.N. Ro-Ro, which is the major operator in this market. U.N. Ro-Ro is a highly profitable company, and we are confident that joining forces will create exciting new opportunities as we can expand services to new customers and combine the two sales organizations.”
The management of U.N Ro-Ro will remain in place. The company employs 500 employees, and the deal is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.