Svane Shipping headoffice in Kolding

Svane Shipping A/S, Kolding’s largest shipping company, will become the new main shareholder in the two Vejle companies Lerche-Henriksen & Møller A/S and Charles Petersen Vejle A/S. The goal is to optimize the two ports’ facilities and increase activity in both cities.

These are some of the most significant companies in their respective ports, which will be merged at the end of October 2023, when Svane Shipping in Kolding formally takes over the majority of shares in Vejle Shipping and Trading ApS.

The latter has for a number of years acted as the holding company for the shipping company Lerche-Henriksen & Møller A/S (LHM) in Vejle, Denmark and earlier this year an acquisition of the competitor Charles Petersen Vejle A/S (CPV) was carried out here.

As the company states, Svane does not take over the majority of the shares in one but two Vejle companies in one maneuver.

“The tendency in our industry is also towards consolidation – to pool forces in larger units,” explains Jesper Hansson, managing director at Svane Shipping. “This merger provides some advantages and new opportunities in both ports – both to attract new customers and to service some otherwise very loyal customers more effectively”.

Expansion of activities in both ports

For LHM and CPV owner, Jacob Bogh Nielsen, the merger of the shipping companies makes good sense.

“It is then an optimal way to create future growth in our local ports and at the same time maintain jobs and some skilled employees here,” explains Jacob Bogh Nielsen, who has been at the head of LHM since 2016.

“Vejle Havn has some really good open areas for bulk, shards, chips and the like, while Svane has large warehouse facilities in Kolding. This makes it possible to segment more and increase the volume of cargo in both places without the ports capitalizing on each other.”

In practical terms, the management of the activities in Vejle will in future be a collaboration between Jesper Hansson and Jacob Bogh Nielsen. The latter continues as co-owner.

Mutual acquaintance accelerated the process

That the takeover is happening right now is, according to Jesper Hansson, a coincidence.

Jacob Bogh Nielsen had just embarked on some new future plans for both himself and for LHM in Denmark, and it had come to Jesper Hansson’s attention.

“When I heard about Jacob’s plans, I contacted him to find out what he intended to happen to LHM,” says Jesper Hansson. “It was a long talk and had some good discussions about how we could anchor and expand the activities in both ports”.

The takeover took place formally on 16 October 2023, and the gradual implementation of data and systems is now underway. Jesper Hansson emphasizes that there are no current plans for layoffs in connection with the merger.

“It’s about development of the activities in both ports – not liquidation,” he states.