June 29, 2005
Maersk unit to acquire Norse Merchant Ferries
The Maersk Group's Netherlands-headquartered Norfolkline today announced its intention to acquire Norse Merchant Ferries, a leading Ro-Ro/Ferry operator on the Irish Sea.
Norfolkline and Wayzata Investment Partners, on behalf of the shareholders of Norse Merchant Group Limited, have signed a Letter of Intent and the parties expect to reach a definitive agreement on the purchase in due course subject to, inter alia, due diligence and necessary third party and governmental consents including antitrust approvals.
Should the deal be completed successfully, the proposed acquisition of Norse Merchant Ferries will clearly strengthen Norfolklines brand name and create a unique opportunity for further development in the European Ro-Ro Market. Both companies have ongoing new building programs and if the parties enter into a final agreement, the combined company will serve its customers with the youngest, fastest and most reliable fleet in the market.
Announcing the news, Managing Director of Norfolkline, Thomas Woldbye, stated that:
"Norse Merchant represents a strategic opportunity for Norfolkline to expand our core business in a complementary manner within a market we know well and where our trailer and logistics business is already very active. It will give us flexibility and add further value to our customers. We are looking very much forward to combining the forces of two strong companies.
The employees are important to both Norfolkline and Norse Merchant and the aim of this proposed acquisition is to build up towards future growth. Norfolkline i s committed to be first class to its customers and employees as well as to its shareholders."
The parties have agreed not to disclose transaction details including price.