A.P. Moller-Maersk is selling its 31.3 percent stake in DFDS, a Danish shipping and logistics company, in a further divestment of non-core assets that will raise around 1.7 billion krone (about US$303 million).
Maersk acquired the DFDS stake as partial payment for Norfolkline, its U.K.-based roll-on, roll-off carrier, in 2010 in a deal reportedly worth $425 million. Maersk can sell the shares following the expiry of a two year lock-up period.
DFDS, northern Europe’s biggest ro-ro shipping line, said it will buy the equivalent of 12 percent of its share capital from Maersk, and the Lauritzen Foundation, its main shareholder, has agreed to purchase a further two percent of the stock. Maersk is divesting the rest of its holding in an accelerated book-built offering.
“As we have said earlier, we have been interested in selling our stake in DFDS, when the timing was right,” said Trond Westlie, Maersk’s CFO, in a written statement. “This is in line with our continued portfolio optimization.”
A.P. Moller-Maersk is disposing of non-core business to focus on container shipping, port operations, oil exploration and drilling. Most recently, Maersk Line sold ERS, its pan-European rail container operation, to U.K.-based Freightliner.
DFDS said the transaction will increase the free float of its shares from 30 percent to approximately 53 percent.