Smedegaard: DFDS needed a higher gearing

It's a rare thing to hear about a company in need of gearing for its capital. But that's actually a key reason why DFDS is now acquiring 12 percent of Maersk's stake in the company, DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard tells ShippingWatch.

Photo: DFDS

The Maersk Group's decision to sell its 31 percent stake in DFDS doesn't come as a surprise, as the sale was announced as early as last fall. But DFDS's decision to acquire 12 percent of the shares up for sale, as the carrier wants to increase the gearing of its invested capital, is probably more surprising to a lot of people. 

But according to DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard, the decision springs from a desire in the financial market, and the carrier is now fulfilling this desire by acquiring the stake, for which DFDS will pay around USD 106 -124 million. Gearing indicates the size of the net interest debt compared to the operational result (EBITDA), and DFDS' gearing is down to 1.8 percent. This means that the company can use its general operating profits to pay off its debt in less than two years, which is actually quite a low gearing.

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