Danish Ship Finance, the leading Copenhagen based dedicated ship finance institution, today announced that its large owners Danske Bank A/S, Danmarks Nationalbank, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S and Nordea Bank AB (publ) had entered into an agreement to sell their entire shareholdings equal to 72 per cent of the shares in Danish Ship Finance to a Danish consortium consisting of Axcel, PFA and PKA.

The new owners wish to continue developing Danish Ship Finance in accordance with the current strategy and led by the current Executive Management.

The price per share is DKK 14.166667 corresponding to a value of all shares in Danish Ship Finance of DKK 4,722 million. In addition to equity, the acquisition will be financed by supplementary capital from PFA and PKA and bank financing (bridge financing).

In connection with the transaction, the other A-shareholders in Danish Ship Finance will receive an offer to sell each of their A-shares at the same price and terms as agreed with the large shareholders. The offer to the other A-shareholders is expected to be submitted during the first half of October 2016. Den Danske Maritime Fond, who is the owner of all the B-shares in Danish Ship Finance that constitutes 10 per cent of the total share capital in the company, has a special relation with Danish Ship Finance. Den Danske Maritime Fond therefore wishes to be a part of the future ownership of Danish Ship Finance in conjunction with the new owners.

The Board of Directors of Danish Ship Finance and the selling large shareholders view Axcel's, PFA's and PKA's ownership as a highly satisfactory solution ensuring a continued strong Danish ship finance institution backed by well capitalized owners and potential for controlled global growth in co-operation with Danish and international shipping companies.

The Board of Directors of Danish Ship Finance note that the price and other terms are satisfactory to all larger shareholders who have decided to sell. The shareholdings of the large shareholders represent a controlling interest and the other shareholders will, consequently, achieve the same price and terms as have been agreed for control of the company.

The Board of Directors have approved the acquisition vehicle formed by the buyer consortium as owner of the shares of the large Shareholders and the shares that may be tendered by other shareholders in connection with the offer to be made.
The transfer of the shares in Danish Ship Finance is conditional upon approval from the Danish FSA and approval by the relevant competition authorities. It is expected that the transfer will close finally during 2016.

Horten advised Danish Ship Finance and its Board of Directors.

About Danish Ship Finance A/S

Danish Ship Finance A/S is a Danish based ship financing company, who distributes loans to Danish and international shipping companies based on mortgages on the vessels. The company's purpose and vision is to be the most recognized and stabile provider of financing to reputable shipping companies. The area of business entails a high level of specialisation and expertise in all aspects of the business, where 70 employees manages a loan portfolio of approximately DKK 43 billion, secured by pledges on about 450 vessels. The company's loan portfolio is widely exposed in several shipping segments and the loans are targeted shipping companies, in Denmark and abroad, of high credit quality.

About Axcel   

Axcel was founded in 1994 by a group of investors from the largest financial and industrial companies in Denmark. Today Axcel is a nordic equity fund, focusing on medium-sized companies and with a large group of Danish and international investors. Axcel has raised four funds with a total of about DKK 10 billion in committed capital. The funds have completed more than 45 investments and more than 80 larger acquisitions with relation to these. 37 companies have been sold or publicly listed. Today Axcel owns 8 companies, that has a total revenue of approx. DKK 7.3 billion and approx. 5,000 employees.

About PFA

PFA was formed in 1917 by a series of employers' organizations as an independent company with the sole purpose of securing employees and their families a secure financial future. With assets of approx. DKK 551 billion and a costumer base of approx. 800,000 members, PFA is Denmark's largest commercial pension company. Furthermore, about 10,000 companies have a pension agreement with PFA.

About PKA

PKA manages pensions of three pension funds within the health and social service sector. PKA has 275,000 members and a total fortune of approx. DKK 250 billion.