The A.P. Moller-Maersk group today announced that it will sell 4,657,365 existing shares, equivalent to 31.3% of the total issued shares, in the roro and ferry operator DFDS to institutional investors. The gross proceeds of the transaction will amount to DKK 1.642 million, some USD 290.65 million.
The parent company of the world’s largest container liner operator therewith completely exits the European shortsea roro trades and the passenger ferries sector.
DFDS said in a statement that it today purchased 1,782,730 shares from A.P. Moller – Maersk, equivalent to 12.0% of the total shares issued in DFDS. The price per share was DKK 352.50 and the total purchase price was DKK 628.4 million (USD 111.23 million). The short sea operator plans to cancel the majority of these shares. Including (re-)purchase from APM, a total of 14.4% of the roro company’ share capital is now owned by DFDS.
In addition, the J Lauritzen Foundation, already the main shareholder in DFDS, has agreed to buy another 300,000 shares and therewith increase its holding in the short sea operator from 36.3% to 38.3%.
APM-Maersk’s interest in DFDS mainly goes back to the sale of Norfolkline. This short-sea roro-freight and roro-passenger ferry company was sold by APM to DFDS in 2009 and subsequently integrated. DFDS paid a part of the purchase price for Norfolkline in cash, which it secured through a syndicated loan, and a part in new shares.