DFDS sells Oslo route to Swedes

The buyer is a Swedish shipping company

DFDS has today entered into an agreement to sell the Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen (OFC) ferry route to Gotlandsbolaget. The sale includes the two ferries deployed on the route, as well as terminal and port agreements.

The sale price amounts to 400 million DKK, DFDS reports in a press release Monday morning.

In addition, just over 800 employees engaged in route operations and support functions will transfer to the new owner. About 700,000 passengers use the route each year. According to Ritzau, the route had a turnover of 900 million kroner in 2023, which corresponds to three percent of DFDS' total turnover.

It has been a difficult decision, says DFDS CEO Torben Carlsen.

- The route is part of our history and heritage, and it is with a heavy heart that we have found a new home for the route and must say goodbye to many valued colleagues. We have found that this is the best way forward for everyone, he says in a press release.

He continues:

- DFDS has grown and evolved significantly over the years, and the route deserves an owner with cruise experiences as a central part of their strategy going forward. We are pleased to have found this in Gotlandsbolaget, says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

From the new Swedish owner, it's stated that the acquisition fits well with their business.

- We see great potential in this business. The route performs well today, and together with our new colleagues, we will work to both ensure continuity and to develop the product. This is another step in our strategic direction to expand within the passenger area, says Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget.

Strategic divestment

From DFDS, it is stated that the divestment is part of a strategic focus.

By selling the route, DFDS' ferry transport network will thereafter consist of pure freight routes in the Mediterranean and the North Sea, as well as combined freight and passenger routes in the Baltic Sea, between the Netherlands and Great Britain, on the English Channel, and in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The ferry transport network is supplemented by DFDS' European road and rail network and logistics services.

- We believe that this is the right decision, and the right time for both the route and DFDS. Going forward, we will focus on our core business within freight, logistics, and passenger transport, while continuing to execute our 2030 strategy and realizing the potential in our transport network, says Torben Carlsen.

The two ferries - 'Crown Seaways' and 'Pearl Seaways' - will not change their flag state in connection with the divestment, and no terminations are planned in connection with the transfer of the route, DFDS emphasizes in the press release.

When the divestment is completed, DFDS will have 21 Danish-flagged ships with 1,100 seafarers. In addition, DFDS has more than 1,000 land-based employees across more than 10 offices, terminals, and logistics locations in Denmark. After the divestment, DFDS will have a total of 13,200 full-time employees.

The transaction is expected to be completed in October this year.

The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions but is not subject to regulatory approvals.

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