Sponsors 3i, Allianz seek buyers for ferry operator Scandlines

British private equity firm 3i Group Plc (LON:III) and German peer Allianz Capital Partners GmbH have chosen Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and ING Groep NV (AMS:INGA) as advisors on a potential offload of ferry operator Scandlines, Bloomberg reported, citing people in the know.

The banks will also bankroll the proposed transaction, which may garner the attention of infrastructure funds, the insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the discussions were not public, told Bloomberg. The target may have a value of some EUR1.4bn (USD1.8bn), according to the sources.

Scandlines and 3i, as well as the lenders, would not comment on a possible sale, when reached by the news agency, which also was not able to establish immediate contact with Allianz Capital Partners.

3i and Allianz Capital Partners each hold a 49% stake in Scandlines’ parent, Scandferries Group, while the remainder of the company is controlled by its management. The private equity firms, together with Deutsche Seereederei GmbH, bought into the ferry operator in 2007, with the three parties paying an aggregate EUR1.56bn to Deutsche Bahn AG and the Danish government for the takeover. The private investors purchased Deutsche Seereederei’s holding in 2010.

Scandlines has headquarters both in Copenhagen, Denmark and Rostock, Germany. The company served 11.5m passengers, 2.6m cars and 640,000 trucks on its three principal itineraries in 2011.

Allianz Capital Partners GmbH is the private equity arm of German financial group Allianz SE (FRA:ALV).