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DFDS to acquire Turkey’s largest RO/RO freight operator

Written by Nick Blenkey
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APRIL 12, 2018 — Danish shipping group DFDS has signed an agreement to acquire 98.8 % of the shares in shipping company U.N. Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity companies Actera and Esas for a price of EUR 950 million (about $1,170 million).

U.N. Ro-Ro is Turkey’s largest operator of RO/RO freight ships, operating five major routes between Turkey and the EU, connecting the Turkish ports of Pendik, Ambarli and Mersin with Trieste and Bari in Italy, Toulon in France and Patras in Greece.

The company operates and owns a fleet of 12 large RO/RO ships and operates port terminals in Pendik, Istanbul, and Trieste in Italy. In cooperation with rail operators, U.N. Ro-Ro also offers intermodal transport between key EU markets and the ports.

“Turkey’s economy is among the world’s 18th largest,” says Niels Smedegaard, CEO & President of DFDS A/S. “Trade with the EU is extremely dynamic. Since U.N. Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, seaborne trade has continued to take market shares from road transport where congestion, border controls and customs formalities hinder the flow. Today, 55 % of the trade is seaborne – and the share continues to grow, benefiting not least U.N. Ro-Ro, which is the major operator in this market.”

Smedegaard noted close similarities between the two companies’ operations, adding “DFDS is even familiar with the ships as they were all built at the Flensburg Shipyard in Germany where DFDS has also been building efficient ships of a similar modern design.”

“U.N. Ro-Ro is a highly profitable company, and we are confident that joining forces will create new exciting opportunities as we can expand services to new customers and combine the two sales organizations,” said Smedegaard.


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