Danish shipping Group DFDS has signed an agreement to acquire the Turkish company U.N. Ro-Ro opera!ng in the growing trade between Turkey and EU. U.N. Ro-Ro operates five routes connec!ng Turkey with Italy and France with its 12 large ro-ro ships and two major port terminals. U.N. Ro-Ro’s 500 employees and the Turkish management will con!nue in the company. The ships will con!nue to fly the Turkish flag.

Today, DFDS signed an agreement to acquire 98.8 % of the shares in the shipping company U.N. Ro- Ro from RORO INVESTMENTS SARL, owned by ACTERA GROUP and ESAS HOLDING for a total enterprise value of EUR 950 million. U.N. Ro-Ro is Turkey’s largest operator of Ro-Ro freight ships, and a strong addi!on to DFDS’ large shipping network in the Bal!c Sea, The North Sea and the English Channel. In the Mediterranean. DFDS is today represented by a route between France and Tunisia.

U.N. Ro-Ro operates five major routes, four to Italy (Trieste and Bari) and one to France (Toulon), a fleet of 12 big Ro-Ro ships as well as ports in Pendik, Istanbul, and Trieste in Italy. In coopera!on with rail operators, U.N. Ro-Ro also offers intermodal transport to and from the ports and key EUmarkets.

Growing market

“Turkey’s economy is among the world’s 20 largest. Trade with the EU is extremely dynamic. Since U.N. Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, the Company has con!nuously invested in addi!onal vessels, port infrastructure, and intermodal train networks to provide more cost-effec!ve and convenient logis!cs solu!ons to Turkish exporters and trucking companies. The growth in ro-ro services has allowed logis!cs providers to shi$ their volumes over !me from land routes to the more cost-effec!ve seaborne trade, in-turn reflec!ng the benefits to Turkish exporters, “ says Niels Smedegaard, CEO & President of DFDS A/S

DFDS’ core expertise

“The opera!on of Ro-Ro ships and opera!on 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 - machinery, automo!ve parts, vehicles, electronics, computers, plas!c products, tex!les, clothing, food, fruit, beverages and other, “says Niels Smedegaard. DFDS is even familiar with the ships as they were all built at the Flensburg Shipyard in Germany where DFDS has also been building ships of a similar design. The ships will all con!nue flying the Turkish flag.

Opportunites to expand services

“U.N. Ro-Ro has already become the leading pla%orm for trade between Turkey and EU with a capacity to transport 300,000 semi-trailers and trucks per year between Turkey and EU, and we are confident that joining forces will create new exci!ng opportuni!es as we can expand services to realise synergies between the two companies’ shipping and intermodal networks. Our extensive reach in Europe will provide even be#er and more compe!!ve services for all logis!cs firms carrying cargo between Turkey and EU,” says Niels Smedegaard.

Many of the trailers and containers transported between manufacturers and their customers in Turkey, Germany, France and the UK, among other, will be using DFDS’ Ro-Ro ferries in the North Sea, the English Channel or in the Bal!c, where DFDS has a strong network.

“I look very much forward to welcoming our new colleagues from U.N. Ro-Ro to DFDS. I am also very pleased that the skilled and professional management of U.N. Ro-Ro have decided to stay with us and help us ensure that all our current and new employees and customers benefit from this“, says Niles Smedegaard.

Selçuk Boztepe, CEO of U.N. Ro-Ro says “We are excited to become part of DFDS’ network and the development opportuni!es this brings to both our customers and employees. The fact that one of Europe’s largest shipping groups has made the decision to invest in U.N. Ro-Ro demonstrates the strength of Turkey’s logis!cs infrastructure and poten!al of Turkey becoming an increasingly important export hub for European markets. I am confident that the industry know-how, combined network capabili!es, and the financial strength of our new shareholder will allow U.N. Ro-Ro to enhance the compe!!veness of Turkish exporters and interna!onal logis!cs companies.”

The deal awaits the approval of the authori!es. DFDS expects that it can be completed by June.