Denmark-based shipping group DFDS has entered an agreement to purchase 98.8% shares in UN Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity companies Actera and Esas for €950m.

Headquartered in Turkey, UN Ro-Ro is an operator of Ro-Ro freight ships serving five major routes between Turkey and the European Union (EU).

The company currently links the Turkish ports of Pendik, Ambarli and Mersin with Trieste and Bari in Italy, Toulon in France, and Patras in Greece.

The large Ithasa fleet ships and operates port terminals in Pendik, Istanbul, Turkey, and Trieste in Italy.

UN Ro-Roalso has partnerships with various rail operators to provide intermodal transport between key EU markets and the ports.

With the latest deal, DFDS aims to strengthen its shipping network in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, and the English Channel.

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“DFDS aims to strengthen its shipping network in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, and the English Channel.”

DFDS CEO and president Niels Smedegaard said: “Turkey’s economy is among the world’s 18th largest. Trade with the EU is extremely dynamic.

“Since UN Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, seaborne trade has continued to take market shares from road transport where congestion, border controls and customs formalities hinder the flow.

“Today, 55% of the trade is seaborne and the share continues to grow, benefitting not least UN Ro-Ro, which is the major operator in this market.”

DFDS also noted that it will be benefitted from the UN Ro-Ro ships, as they were built at the Flensburg Shipyard in Germany, where DFDS has been constructing efficient ships of a similar design.

The agreement is subject to approval by relevant authorities.