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DFDS acquires major Mediterranean shipping group 12 April 2018

Leading player supporting growing trade between the EU and Turkey

Danish shipping and logistics group DFDS has acquired Turkey’s largest operator of Ro-Ro freight ships and will be a major player in the strong and continuously growing trade between the EU and Turkey.

U.N. Ro-Ro is a highly profitable company. The management of U.N. Ro-Ro have decided to stay with DFDS and help ensure that all current and new employees and customers benefit from the deal.

U.N. Ro-Ro operates five routes connecting Italy and France with Turkey, 12 ships and port terminals in Trieste and in Pendik, Istanbul. U.N. Ro-Ro employs 500 people. The deal is subject to approval by the authorities.

DFDS signed an agreement to acquire 98.8 % of the shares in the shipping company U.N. Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity companies Actera and Esas for a price of €950.0 million. U.N. Ro-Ro is Turkey's largest operator of Ro-Ro freight ships, and a strong addition to DFDS' large shipping network in the Baltic Sea, The North Sea and the English Channel. In the Mediterranean, DFDS is represented by a route between France and Tunisia.

U.N. Ro-Ro operates 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.

Since U.N. Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, seaborne trade in Turkey has continued to take market shares from road transport where congestion, border controls and customs formalities hinder the flow. Today, 55.0% of the trade is seaborne and the share continues to grow, benefitting not least U.N. Ro-Ro, which is the major operator in this market.

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. So are the goods transported, such as machinery, automotive parts, vehicles, electronics, computers, plastic products, textiles, clothing, food, fruit and beverages. 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.

Many of the trailers and containers transported between manufacturers and their customers via France and Italy will be using DFDS' ferries in the Channel and in the North Sea.