DFDS sells OFC

The Swedish Gotland Company will take over the Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen (OFC) service for around DKK400 million (about €53.6m) from the Danish shipping & logistics firm.

The deal includes the crossing's ferries Crown Seaways (room for 2,168 passengers and 1,482 lane metres for wheeled cargo) and Pearl Seaways (2,044/1,370), port agreements, and terminal equipment. Some 800 employees in route operations and support functions will also move to Gotland Company (no layoffs are planned as part of the route transfer).

DFDS will, after completion of the agreement subject only to customary closing conditions, provide certain support services to the buyer for an agreed and limited period.

The deal, which also includes a potential earn-out payment, is expected to be closed in October 2024.

The OFC, kicked off together with DFDS' establishment in 1866, mainly functions as a cruise ferry service nowadays, serving around 700 thousand leisure passengers annually.

"The route is a part of our history and heritage, and it is with a heavy heart that we have found a new home for the route and will be saying goodbye to a lot of valued colleagues. We have determined this to be the best way forward for all. We have grown and developed significantly over the years, and the route deserves to be in the hands of an owner with cruise experience as a core part of their strategy going forward. We are happy to have found that with Gotlandsbolaget [Gotland Company]," Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, commented.

He furthered, "The decision to sell the OFC route has been difficult. We believe it is the right decision and right timing for both the route and DFDS. Going forward, we will focus on our core business activities within freight, logistics and transport passengers as we continue to execute on our Moving Together Towards 2030 strategy unlocking the potential of our transportation network."

Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotland Company, said, "We see great potential in this business. The route is performing well today, and together with our new colleagues, we will both work to ensure continuity and develop the product. This is yet another step in our strategic direction to expand in passenger shipping."

Photo: DFDS