Maersk in talks to buy intra-Europe shipping line Norse
The A.P. Moller-Maersk group said Wednesday its intra-Europe shipping subsidiary Norfolkline has signed a letter of intent to acquire Norse Merchant Ferries, a roll-on/roll-off ferry operator on the Irish Sea.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Norfolkline and Wayzata Investment Partners, on behalf of the shareholders of Norse Merchant Group Ltd., 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,” Norfolkline said.
If successful, the deal will combine the 15 vessels (nine ro/ros and six containerships) operated by Norfolkline with the nine ro/ros operated by Norse, thereby increasing the size of A.P. Moller-Maersk's intra-European shipping business.
“Combining Norfolkline’s expertise in ferry operations on the English Channel and in Northern Europe with Norse Merchant Group’s focus on the Irish Sea market will broaden our service offering and realize synergistic benefits,” said Derek Sloan, chief executive officer of Norse Merchant.