Maersk Sells 31% Stake in Ferry Operator DFDS for $305 Million

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S (MAERSKB), Denmark’s biggest company, will sell its 31.3 percent stake in ferry operator DFDS A/S (DFDS) in a divestment valued at 1.73 billion kroner ($305 million) based on yesterday’s closing prices.

DFDS will purchase the equivalent of 12 percent of its share capital from Maersk, and the Lauritzen Foundation, DFDS’s main shareholder, has agreed to buy 2 percent, Copenhagen-based DFDS said today in a statement. Maersk is selling the rest of the stake in an accelerated book-building, a short-term secondary sale.

Under Chief Executive Officer Nils Smedegaard Andersen, Maersk, which has more than 1,000 subsidiaries, has been selling units to focus on its main areas of container shipping, oil, drilling and ports. Copenhagen-based Maersk obtained its DFDS stake in July 2010 when it sold its Norfolk ferry unit to DFDS in stock deals. DFDS shares have since declined 0.5 percent. The stock is up 45 percent this year.

DFDS, which is the Nordic region’s largest listed ferry operator, said it plans to delete the shares the company is buying. DFDS had a market capitalization of 5.51 billion kroner at yesterday’s close.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Wienberg in Copenhagen at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

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