Danske, Nordea Sell Danish Ship Finance in $710 Million Deal

A group consisting of the two biggest banks in Denmark and the country’s central bank agreed to sell a controlling stake in Danish Ship Finance A/S in a deal that values the lender at 4.72 billion kroner ($710 million).

Danske Bank A/S, Nordea Bank AB, Danmarks Nationalbank and A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S will sell their combined 72 percent stake after the board of Danish Ship Finance in 2015 started a strategic review of its business. The buyers are Danish pensions funds PFA and PKA, as well as private equity fund Axcel, according to a statement published on Wednesday.

Maersk, Denmark’s biggest conglomerate, has been selling off non-core assets over the past decade and earlier this month said it plans to split into a transport and an energy company. Danske, Nordea and the central bank have also been divesting assets including their stakes in payment provider Nets A/S, which was listed on the Copenhagen exchange this month.

The remaining A-shareholders in Danish Ship Finance will receive an offer to sell their stakes at the same price, according to the statement. The Danish Maritime Fund, which has a 10 percent stake made up of B-shares, has decided to keep its stake.

Danish Ship Finance has a BBB+ issuer rating at Standard & Poor’s, while its listed bonds are graded A. “The ratings are not expected to change materially as a result of the transaction,” the statement said.

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