Ferry company Scandlines is selling five ferry routes to Stena Line – subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities – including its Sassnitz BorderShop, one of three that the company operates. The deal affects about 300 employees in Germany, Sweden and the Baltic States.
At 800 square metres, Sassnitz is the smallest of the three duty free BorderShop locations owned by Scandlines. The largest, in Puttgarten, Germany – where Havana Club recently opened a permanent tasting bar – is 10 times larger at 8,000 square metres, while the unit at Rostock, which opened a year ago, is 1,200 square metres.
The routes Scandlines is selling comprise about 80-90% of its freight routes according to a spokesperson. They are:
– Travemünde – Ventspils
– Travemünde – Liepaja
– Nynäshamn – Ventspils
– Rostock – Trelleborg
– Sassnitz -Trelleborg.
The Baltic company says that in future it will focus on the “traffic machines” of Rostock – Gedser, Puttgarden – Rødby, and Helsingborg – Helsingør. Traffic machines is a term referring to the routes that are the main passenger generators and therefore also big duty free earners. These routes operate in the triangle between Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Both companies benefit from the deal. Gunnar Blomdahl, CEO for Stena Line says: “Through the acquisition of the routes from Germany and Sweden to the Baltic States, we are increasing our presence in the southern Baltic and expanding our offering for both freight and passengers. Our ambition is to continue developing the new operations.”
Søren Poulsgaard Jensen, CEO at Scandlines, adds: “Our strategic objective is to be a consumer-driven ferry operator (and) selling our freight routes at a time of a friendly market environment is a logical step. Focusing on our three traffic machines together with our land-based retail operations will help us strengthen our image as a provider of services in the triangle between Germany, Denmark and Sweden.”
In 2011, Scandlines parent company, Scandferries Holding, produced 38% of its total revenues of €611 million from catering and retail. The group carried 12 million passengers last year.