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Region: Germany
Sector: Industrial

Nature of Business

Scandlines, which was established in 1998 by a merger of the largest national ferry companies in Denmark and Germany, is a large ferry operator in Europe.

On two short distance routes between Denmark and Germany with high frequency and large capacity, the company provides efficient and reliable transportation services to both passenger and freight customers. The main focus of Scandlines’ activities is creating value for its customers on board its ferries, as well as in its BorderShops.

In 2014, Scandlines transported 7.5 million passengers, 1.8 million cars and 0.5 million freight units on its two routes Puttgarden-Rødby and Rostock-Gedser.

Investment Overview

In June 2007, 3i and funds managed by 3i invested for a 40% stake in Scandlines; three years later we bought an additional10% stake taking our current ownership to 50%. In November 2013 we acquired the remaining 50% of the business from Allianz Capital Partners. As part of this acquisition, Scandlines successfully refinanced its current debt facilities into a new €875m package to help fund its future strategic objectives.

The plan is to further strengthen and develop Scandlines Group as a ferry shipping company in the Baltic Sea region. We are working to transform the former state-owned business into a ‘best in class’ operator.

We are driving sales growth in the company’s core vehicle-transportation business using our retail sector expertise. In addition, we are transforming Scandlines’ border shops by focusing on efficiencies in areas such as staffing of the retail and catering outlets as well as procurement. We have also implemented a yield management project to avoid waiting times at peak hours.

Scandlines’ longer term potential is demonstrated by the company’s groundbreaking green initiatives on the Puttgarden-Rødby route and the decision to build two new ferries for the Rostock-Gedser route; these will provide increased capacity and frequency of crossings, thereby increasing revenues.

In January 2014, through our Business Leaders Network, we introduced Steve Ridgeway to Scandlines, who was appointed as Chairman. Steve brings over 30 years experience from Virgin Atlantic Airways, most recently as Chief Executive. Scandlines will benefit from his expertise in product innovation, customer service and sustainability.

Regulatory notice: This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Germany and 3i Sweden

3i office contact


Bockenheimer Landstraße
60306 Frankfurt am Main

Tel. +49 69 710000 0
Fax +49 69 710000 113

Private Equity Team

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