DFDS expands ferry network to Strait of Gibraltar

DFDS has entered an agreement to acquire FRS Iberia/Maroc, a ferry market leader on the Strait of Gibraltar, expanding its Mediterranean route network to market expected to benefit from nearshoring of supply chains.

HSC Tarifa Jet in Tarifa - Spain (c) FRS

DFDS has today entered into an agreement to acquire FRS Iberia/Maroc, a division of the German short-sea ferry company FRS GmbH & Co. KG. FRS Iberia/Maroc operates three short-sea ferry routes across the Strait of Gibraltar connecting Spain and Morocco.

“We are excited to expand our network to one of Europe’s significant ferry markets that we expect will continue to show high growth underpinned by the ongoing nearshoring of supply chains to Europe”, says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

"This is a great opportunity to scale DFDS’ business model. We will apply our capabilities and experience, not least from the Channel short-sea market, to further develop the Strait of Gibraltar ferry infrastructure while supporting regional tourism and trade”, says Mathieu Girardin, Head of DFDS’ Ferry Division and EVP.

"FRS Iberia/Maroc has achieved great success for more than two decades. We are pleased to have found a partner in DFDS who will run the company in a proven manner to ensure its continued growth and take good care of our employees”, says Götz Becker, CEO FRS Group.

Following the devastating earthquake in Morocco, the FRS Group has offered Moroccan authorities to assist with the transport of emergency supplies, medicine, and other emergency relief equipment. DFDS commends and fully supports these efforts while we through diplomatic representatives will explore possibilities for providing further assistance.

Strategic fit

The acquisition is aligned with DFDS’ strategy to develop and expand the transport network focused on moving goods in trailers by ferry, road & rail as well as moving passengers.

The acquisition expands DFDS’ Mediterranean route network that today connects Europe with Türkiye and Tunisia, respectively. The region’s organic market growth is expected to continue to exceed growth levels in northern Europe underpinned by nearshoring of manufacturing supply chains closer to end markets in Europe.

The integration of FRS Iberia/Maroc is expected to bring operating benefits, including tonnage allocation and benefits from application of business model insights from existing freight ferry routes and the combined freight and passenger Channel short-sea routes.

FRS Iberia/Maroc will contribute to both the freight ferry and passenger segments in the Ferry Division. Expected synergies and integration plans will be disclosed in connection with the closing of the transaction.

Read more in this company announcement.

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