DFDS transport and logistics giant has signed an agreement to acquire the international transport network of Ekol Logistics, a Turkish transport and logistics company headquartered in Istanbul.

DFDS acquires the company for a debt-free price of DKK 1.9bn (€260m), which will be financed by a combination of loan financing and use of existing cash funds.

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic match for DFDS,” says Torben Carlsen, chief executive of DFDS in a statement.

The company had a revenue of DKK 3.5bn in 2023 and 3,700 employees.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024, pending EU merger control approval.

“Transporting large trailer volumes reliably and efficiently using combinations of road, ferry, and rail is our core business,” says Torben Carlsen.

“Moreover, we believe Türkiye’s role as a manufacturing hub for Europe will become even stronger in the future as nearshoring drives supply chains closer to end markets.”

The acquisition is fully aligned with DFDS’ transport network strategy focused on moving goods in trailers by ferry, road, and rail, and on offering complementary logistics solutions.

The addition of the company adds road transport to DFDS’ Mediterranean ferry network thereby extending the northern European ferry/road business model to this region.

Ahmet Musul, founder and chair of the board of directors of Ekol Logistics, noted: “This combination has the potential to make the transport infrastructure between Türkiye and Europe more efficient and help raise Türkiye’s attractiveness as a manufacturing hub further.”

The company’s transport network builds on a partnership since 2019 with DFDS through a long-term customer agreement providing stable access to ferry capacity in the Mediterranean route network.

The Türkiye-Europe transport market is on average expected to grow by around 14% annually until 2028 and the acquisition thereby expands DFDS’ network to a high-growth region supported by nearshoring of supply chains closer to Europe.