DFDS and Louis Dreyfus said they are not making a revised joint bid for assets of Sea France because of resistance from the union representing the majority of seamen at the ailing French ferry operator.
The Danish and French shipping companies failed to meet a Dec. 12 deadline to table an improved offer after their original $6.5 million bid for the subsidiary of French state railway SNCF was rejected by a Paris commercial court.
DFDS said it was not possible to establish a dialogue with the CFDT union, which represents the majority of Sea France employees.
Sea France, which mainly operates freight and passenger services between France and the U.K., went into receivership in 2010 after suffering losses of around $325 million.
European Union competition regulators outlawed a $270 million bailout by the French government, prompting a court-led bid to find private buyers for the company.
The decision not to make a fresh bid represents a setback to DFDS’s plan to build a pan-European shipping and logistics network following its $475 million takeover of Norfolk Line, the short sea unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk in 2010.
“We sincerely regret this decision as the underlying industrial logic of DFDS and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs joint venture remains intact,“ the companies said in a statement.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate any further opportunities that may arise for the joint venture.”
DFDS and Louis Dreyfus planned to retain three of Sea France’s four ships and 460 of its 800 on-board workers.
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