Denmark’s DFDS, northern Europe’s largest short sea carrier, and French ship-owner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, on Tuesday launched a joint bid for certain assets of SeaFrance, a financially troubled French ferry operator.
The companies didn’t give financial details of their bid for the subsidiary of French state railway SNCF that has been in bankruptcy protection since June 2010.
Sea France operates freight and passenger ferry service between Calais, France, and Dover, U.K., deploying four ships.
DFDS, which paid $475 million for Norfolk Line, the ferry unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, in 2010, said the Sea France bid reflects its strategy of building a pan-European shipping and logistics network. Louis Dreyfus Armateurs is active in several markets, including bulk, offshore and ferry shipping.
The bid is subject is certain conditions, including approval by the relevant competition authorities. If the bid is successful, DFDS and Louis Dreyfus will form a jointly owned company, with DFDS the majority shareholder, to acquire the assets of Sea France.
Louis Dreyfus’ LD Lines ferry unit and DFDS’s service between Dover and Dunkirk, France, would be transferred to the joint company.
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