3i Group plc ("3i"), an international investor, has signed an agreement with existing co-shareholder, Allianz Capital Partners ("ACP"), the captive, alternative asset investment platform of Allianz Group, to acquire their stake in Scandlines. 3i, and funds managed by 3i, will consequently become majority shareholders.
3i, and funds managed by 3i, are investing €165m to facilitate the acquisition of ACP’s 49% stake in Scandlines, one of the largest ferry operators in the Baltic Sea. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place before the year end.
As part of 3i’s acquisition of ACP’s stake, the company has successfully refinanced its current debt facilities into a new €875m package. This has been well received in the debt capital markets and provides a firm foundation for Scandlines’ future strategic objectives.
3i and ACP initially invested in Scandlines in June 2007, acquiring 40% of the shares each. They subsequently acquired Deutsche Seereederei’s 20% stake in 2010.
Over the last six years, 3i and ACP have taken a pro-active approach to their investment in Scandlines, progressing a number of initiatives including strengthening the management team, introducing operational improvement programmes and refining the business concept with an increased focus on the customer experience as well as yield management.
Under 3i and ACP’s stewardship, Scandlines has been transformed from a state-owned, diversified company to a focused, short sea route specialist. In 2011, the company disposed of its long-distance freight routes to Stena to focus on its core business. The decision to build two new ferries for the Rostock-Gedser route will provide increased capacity to capture the corridor growth driven by Central and Eastern European traffic.
Peter Wirtz, 3i Partner and Managing Director Germany, commented: "Scandlines is a successful and profitable business that we’ve got to know well during the past six years. We’re pleased to be investing further to support the management in executing the company’s future plans and to benefit from the company’s growth prospects."
Jörg Spanier, Managing Director at Allianz Capital Partners said: "We have been successfully invested in Scandlines for the last six years and have greatly enjoyed working with our partner 3i and the management team of Scandlines to reposition the company. Since the acquisition in 2007, Scandlines has been transformed from a complex state owned company with limited strategic focus into a modern and efficient ferry operator focused on the most profitable "Traffic Machine" routes. The business is now well-positioned to maximise its potential and to continue to pursue its growth strategy."
Søren Poulsgaard Jensen, CEO of Scandlines, commented: "We'd like to thank ACP for their support over the past six years. ACP and 3i have actively accompanied the development of our business and played a key role in the success and growth of our company during this time. We look forward to building on this progress and securing a market-leading position under the new 100% ownership of 3i."