Bakers and Kirkland aboard for €950m private equity sale of European shipping operator

Baker McKenzie and Kirkland & Ellis have advised on the sale of Turkish freight shipping operator UN Ro-Ro to Danish shipping and logistics company Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (DFDS) for about €950m (£822m).

The deal will see DFDS, which operates freight and passenger ferries in northern Europe, expand its operations into the Mediterranean. UN Ro-Ro operates five freight shipping routes between Turkey, Italy and France.

Kirkland is advising UN Ro-Ro’s private equity owners Actera Group and Esas Holdings on the sale, with a team led by London corporate partner David Arnold. Actera and Esas acquired DFDS from KKR in 2014.

Bakers is advising DFDS, with London corporate partner Charles Whitefoord and Turkey M&A head Eren Kursun leading the firm’s team. Deutsche Bank served as financial adviser to DFDS on the deal.

Last year, Whitefoord led the firm’s team advising US cereal company Post Holdings on its $1.8bn (£1.4bn) purchase of Weetabix Limited. He also led the Bakers team advising US travel giant Priceline on its $550m (£438m) acquisition of London-based travel search engine Momondo Group.

Other recent deals involving Actera and Esas handled by Kirkland have included the $800m sale of Mars Entertainment Group, Turkey’s biggest cinema chain, to an investment group led by South Korean cinema chain operator CJ CGV in 2016.