Danish shipping and logistics group DFDS has acquired 98.8 percent of the shares in Turkey's U.N. Ro-Ro, for approximately EUR950 million (USD1.7 billion).
U.N. Ro-Ro operates five major routes between Turkey and the European Union (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 owns and operates a fleet of 12 ro-ro vessels, as well as port terminals in Pendik and Trieste. In cooperation with rail operators, U.N. Ro-Ro also offers intermodal transport between key EU markets and the ports.
DFDS says U.N. Ro-Ro is a strong addition to its shipping network in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel. Currently, DFDS' operations in the Mediterranean includes a route between France and Tunisia.
"Turkey's economy is among the world's largest," said Niels Smedegaard, ceo and president of DFDS. "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.
"The operation of ro-ro ships and operation of port terminals handling a high number of unaccompanied trailer units - and containers for reloading to rail transport in the ports - are very similar to DFDS' business in the North Sea," added Smedegaard.
The transaction is subject to approval by the Turkish, Austrian and German competition authorities as well as Italian authorities in relation to the transfer of the Trieste terminal as a strategic asset. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place in June 2018.