Danish transport businesses announce merger

Two large family-owned transport companies are about to consolidate their operations.

FREJA Transport & Logistics Holding and SDK, owned by USTC, have announced a merger.

SDK and FREJA will reportedly bring approx. 1,300 people and carry an annual turnover of more than 5.0 billion DKK (approx. €671.4 million).

Pending relevant approvals, SDK will become a 75 per cent shareholder in the newly merged company.

The remaining 25 per cent will be held by the current majority shareholder and founder of FREJA, Jørgen Hansen, along with the management team.

“Since I founded the company in 1985, it has been our ambition to grow the business and expand our reach,” said Jørgen Hansen.

“I am very proud to find our company in a situation where we will become part of the USTC Group by merging with SDK.

“Our family values align with the values of the Østergaard-Nielsen family, and I have full confidence that the new ownership is a perfect fit,” he said.

The SDK Group is owned by the Østergaard-Nielsen family and has a long history in transport and logistics. The company was founded in 1876 under the name Julius Mortensen Shipping. Many years later, it became the first company that USTC owner Torben Østergaard-Nielsen acquired.

USTC is a global conglomerate with more than 2,500 employees, covering more than 100 offices in 33 countries and headquartered out of Middelfart, Denmark. In the last fiscal year USTC reported a turnover of 76 billion DKK (approx. €10.2 million).

“We have been looking for a strong company with equal values to join forces with in order to achieve our long-term goals,” said SDK CEO, Søren Gran Hansen.

“This merger will create a platform for further growth, both organically and by acquisitions.

“When the merger is finalised, we will be better positioned to compete in the market through scale and by combining existing competences and knowledge from our experienced and valuable employees in both FREJA and SDK’s logistic companies,” he said.

FREJA CEO, Ulrik Rasmussen, also welcomed the merger and is very aware that this move puts the joint company in a great position to approach customers with an even better service, quality and a broader portfolio.

The merger will result in changes to the company structure.

All of FREJA’s current business units will merge with SDK’s logistic activities into a new entity called FREJA Transport & Logistics.

As a consequence, the majority of the current SDK logistic activities will be rebranded to FREJA.

All other SDK activities within shipping, agency, chartering, stevedore, and cruise will continue unchanged under the SDK brand and will remain under the full ownership of the USTC Group.

Current CEO of SDK, Søren Gran Hansen, will continue in this role as well as taking on the role of Chairman of the Board for the new entity FREJA Transport & Logistics.

The founder of FREJA, Jørgen Hansen, will join the SDK Board of Directors.

Ulrik Rasmussen, who is currently the CEO of FREJA, will continue as CEO of FREJA Transport & Logistics.

FREJA Transport & Logistics will have offices in eight different countries, namely Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Holland, Spain and China.

The agreement is conditioned upon the approval of the relevant competition authorities and the transaction price has not been disclosed.

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