Finland-based Aspo Group subsidiary ESL Shipping is set to acquire all outstanding shares of Sweden’s AtoB@C Shipping and AtoB@C Holding (AtoB@C) in a €30m deal.
Aspo intends to provide the final purchase price mainly through its existing financing reserves, and around €4.2m by issuing new AtoB@C shares.
ESL Shipping Board of Directors chairman and Aspo Group CEO Aki Ojanen said: “Aspo’s strategy is to develop leading companies in its field.
“The acquisition will shift ESL Shipping to a new size class and put it in a good position to improve operational efficiency and overall profitability of the shipping company.”
In addition, the latest deal is expected to increase ESL Shipping’s net sales from €80m to around €160m as well as increase its cargo handling capacity from nearly 11-12 million tonnes to around 16-17 million tonnes.
Currently, ESL Shipping and AtoB@C both have presence in the entire northern European region and the new deal is set to offer additional benefits in terms of risk to ESL Shipping.
The company will have access to new opportunities to develop environmentally-friendly and effective transport solutions to meet customers’ future requirements.
The deal is also expected to improve Aspo’s earnings per share in the current financial period.
Subject to approval from Finland’s competition authority, ESL Shipping’s acquisition of AtoB@C shares is due to be closed by the third quarter of this year.
AtoB@C currently provides dry bulk shipping services with a fleet of 30 vessels ranging in size of 4,000t-5,000t, including six fully owned dry cargo vessels and 22 time-chartered ships.