Danish Ship Finance has launched a strategic review that may lead to an IPO, the bank’s chairman said in a statement. Also known as Danmarks Skibskredit as the Copenhagen based shipping bank in Danish.
“Danmarks Skibskredit has now initiated a strategic review of multiple possibilities which can facilitate the continued development of Danmarks Skibskredit’s ship finance operations, and which could improve the share liquidity,” Peter Lybecker, chairman, said in the statement.
“The review includes an initial public offering and a sale of shares. The review is at an early stage, and Danmarks Skibskredit has no knowledge of any decision by any existing shareholder that it will make shares available for an initial public offering or a sale of shares by other means.”
“It is uncertain whether and, if so, when a transaction will take place. Danmarks Skibskredit will make further announcements as and when such an announcement is deemed necessary or appropriate,” he concluded.
The bank was established in 1961 and its corporate structure was changed from a foundation to a limited liability company in 2005. Its biggest shareholders are other banks that currently hold 40% of the shares, while ship owners have 20% and the Danish National Bank 19%. There are a number of other shareholders too. All have been able to trade in the stocks of the company subject to board approval since 2010.
Danish Ship Finance has a loan portfolio of DKK42 billion (USD6.3 billion) secured against 560 ships and it made a net profit of DKK1.57 billion last year, sharply higher than the DKK477 million achieved in 2013. Reversal of previously booked losses helped to strengthen the bottom line last year.