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DFDS buys Turkey-Europe business from Ekol Logistics

DFDS strengthens its market position in the transport corridor between Turkey and Europe with the acquisition of the activities of Ekol Logistics.

DFDS has today entered into an agreement to acquire the international transportation network of Ekol Logistics, which transports goods between Turkey and Europe via its own offices and facilities in ten European countries. In 2022, the Danes had announced takeover talks with the Turkish Ekol Logistics. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q4 2024, subject to EU merger control approval; the Turkish competition authorities already gave the green light in July 2023. [ds_preview]

The Ekol Logistics division generated revenue of €470m in 2023 with 3,700 employees. In addition to Turkey, there are branches in France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine. DFDS is taking over the activities for a purchase price of €260m.

With the takeover, the shipping company is adding road transportation to its ferry network in the Mediterranean and thus expanding DFDS’ Northern European business model in ferry and road transportation to this region. In addition, DFDS’ logistics network will be expanded throughout Europe.

The expansion of Ekol Logistics’ international transportation network will enable DFDS to offer end-to-end transportation solutions between Turkey and Europe directly to end customers, including distribution services and warehousing for Turkish companies as well as European and global manufacturers with production or assembly facilities in Turkey.

DFDS focuses on Turkey with a view to nearshoring

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for DFDS. The reliable and efficient transportation of large trailer volumes by a combination of road, ferry and rail is our core business. We also believe that Turkey’s role as a production hub for Europe will become even stronger in the future as nearshoring brings supply chains closer to the end markets,” says DFDS CEO Torben Carlsen.

The Turkish-European transportation market is expected to grow by an average of 14% per year until 2028, supported by the relocation of supply chains closer to Europe.

“I am delighted that Ekol Logistics’ international transportation network and all its skilled and dedicated employees have found a new home with our long-standing partner DFDS. This combination has the potential to make the transportation infrastructure between Turkey and Europe more efficient and to further increase Turkey’s attractiveness as a production location,” says Ahmet Musul, founder and CEO of Ekol Logistics.

The Danish group’s financial forecast for 2024 has been revised following the announced takeover agreement. Revenue is now expected to increase by 8-11% in 2024 compared to 2023, assuming the acquisition is completed at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2024. Previously, the expected revenue increase for 2024 was 5 to 8%. The EBIT outlook for 2024 remains unchanged at DKK 2.0 to 2.4bn.

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