Danish freight forwarders Freja and SDK merge

Danish family-owned freight forwarders Freja and SDK are merging their businesses to create a logistics provider with 1,300 employees and an annual turnover of more than EUR 671 million. The merged entity will continue as Freja Transport & Logistics but become part of SDK’s parent company USTC Group. 

The agreement sees all of Freja’s current business units merge with SDK’s logistic activities which will be rebranded to Freja. SDK’s activities within shipping, agency, chartering, stevedoring and cruise shipping will continue under the SDK brand and remain part of its parent company USTC Group.

Pending the approval from the relevant competition authorities, SDK will become a 75% shareholder
in the newly merged company, while the remaining 25% of the shares will be held by the current majority
shareholder and founder of Freja, Jørgen Hansen, along with the management team.

The merger will create a new force in the transport and logistics industry and pave the way for future growth, the companies state. Both of the companies are active in the project cargo market. Freja is also a member of the Project Cargo Network.

Difficult decision

Hansen says that handing over a large part of his life’s work has not been an easy decision. And that therefore, it was crucial for him to find a business partner that stands by the same long-term values and commitments
that Freja was founded on.

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

Scale

SDK is owned by the Østergaard-Nielsen family. Since 2013, it is part of the USTC Group, a Danish conglomerate with more than 2,500 employees and over 100 offices in 33 countries that is also active in tanker shipping bunker supply and IT services.

“We have been looking for a strong company with equal values to join forces in order to achieve
our long-term goals. This merger will create a platform for further growth, both organically and by
acquisitions. When the merger is finalized, we will be better positioned to compete in the market
through scale and by combining existing competences and knowledge”, says SDK CEO Søren Gran Hansen.

Experienced leadership

Søren Gran Hansen will continue as CEo of SDK and also take on the role of Chairman of the Board for the new entity Freja Transport & Logistics. Freja founder Jørgen Hansen will join the SDK board of directors, while Ulrik Rasmussen, who is currently the CEO of Freja, will continue as CEO of FrejaTransport Logistics.

The new business will have offices in eight different countries including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Holland, Spain and China. The transaction price has not been disclosed.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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