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ROTTERDAM: August 29, 2016. Samskip has purchased short-sea operator Euro Container Lines AS (ECL) from Wilson A/S for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1999, ECL operates three vessels linking ports in Norway with Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

ECLSamskip said it expects Norwegian volumes to rise from 55,000 TEU to 90,000 TEU annually, an increase in its reefer capacity to 275-300 TEU per week, and a substantially improved Norwegian coastal service.

The ECL acquisition follows a 50 percent stake in Bergen-based Silver Green that operates 14 reefer vessels on North Atlantic, Baltic, North Sea and Black Sea trades.

In 2015 Samskip reported a turnover of €625 million, an EBITDA of €20.3 million and a net profit of €9.0 million.

"The ECL deal is a definitive move in this market and completes the regional acquisition strategy we have been developing over the past years commented Samskip CEO Jens Holger Nielsen. "I think it is fair to say that we will deliver greater value to our clients in Norway, putting us in the position to provide the all-round services that Samskip is renowned for in other major fishing nations such as Iceland and the Faroe Islands," he added.

Samskip investment over the past 15 years in its European door-to-door 45ft dry and deep-sea feeder operation, as well as the frozen fish market from North Atlantic producers, has included reefer vessels, container services, cold store and terminal operations, as well as global forwarding services.

The ECL acquisition will now add the Norwegian ports of Holla, Ikornes, Maløy and Haugesund to the Samskip network that also includes twice-weekly sailings from Rotterdam and two from Hamburg to Norway.

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