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Danske, Nordea to sell stakes in Danish shipping finance firm

Danish pension funds PFA Pension Forsikrings A/S and PKA and Nordic equityfund Axcel will acquire a majority stake in shipping finance providerDanmarks SkibskreditA/S from shareholders including Danske Bank A/S and Nordea Bank AB (publ).

The transaction values Danmarks Skibskredit at 4.72 billionDanish kroner.

The firms will acquire the stake through AXPP ShareCo A/S,in which they have equal stakes. AXPP ShareCo will acquire 72% of the sharecapital and 79% of the voting rights of the firm for 14.166667 kroner pershare, and will make an offer to remaining class A shareholders to acquiretheir shares at the same price.

In addition to Nordea Bank and Danske Bank, DanmarksSkibskredit's "large shareholders" — those holding agreater than 5% stake — are the Danish central bank, or , and shippingfirm A. P. Møller-Maersk A/S.

The Danish Maritime Fund holds a 10% stake in DanmarksSkibskredit through its ownership of all the firm's B shares and intends toremain a shareholder in the company. Class A shares amount to 90% of the sharecapital; the company noted that because of the Danish Maritime Fund's continuedownership, remaining class A shareholders cannot be compelled to sell theirshares.

The sale is part of a strategic review initiated by DanmarksSkibskredit's board of directors in 2015. The new owners will continuedeveloping the firm with its current strategy and executive management,although changes in the shareholder-elected board members are expected.

The total purchase price of all the class A shares amountsto 4.25 billion kroner, to be financed through 1.35 billion kroner of sharecapital, 2 billion kroner of additional Tier 2 capital and 1 billion kroner ofsenior unsecured debt. The debt is expected to be repaid through the payment ofa 1 billion kroner dividend to AXPP ShareCo and remaining class A shareholdersafter the transaction is completed.

The offer to remaining shareholders is expected to be madein the first half of October. The transfer of class A shares is expected to becompleted by the end of 2016, conditional on approval from the Danish FSA andfrom competition authorities.

Danmarks Skibskredit has a loan portfolio of about 43billion kroner, secured by pledges on roughly 450 vessels. It employs 70people.

As of Sept. 27, US$1was equivalent to 6.65 Danish kroner.