FRS sells subsidiary FRS Iberia to DFDS
Established in 2000, FRS Iberia is today the only ferry company that is operating all ports in the Strait of Gibraltar. It started with the connection between Tarifa (Spain) and Tangier (Morocco), followed by connections between Algeciras (Spain), Gibraltar and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the African mainland and Tanger Med (Morocco). Five high-speed catamarans, two classic car ferries and one RoRo ferry are currently in use.
The Iberia business has experienced extraordinary success over the course of two decades, despite strong competition. Within Moroccan growing economy and the mutual market between the two countries, the total of annual transports of the FRS Iberia has increased. In the year 2023 1.9 Million Passengers and 370.000 cars are expected. The company is now one of the market leaders in ferry traffic between Spain and Morocco, with strong expertise in the operation of fast ferries and freight traffic. Within the 14 ferry lines of the FRS Group, FRS Iberia is the strongest pillar.
Earlier this year, the family company turned to team up with an equally strong partner to further support this brand’s growth. Danish ferry company DFDS from Copenhagen appeared to be a strong ally who has been mainly active in ferry traffic in Northern Europe and recently as well in the Med region. Just like FRS, DFDS (Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab) is a ferry company with a long tradition – whose origins date back to the year 1866.
During negotiations, it became evident that it is the more logical step for both companies to sell FRS Iberia entirely. Consequently, FRS is now handing over its subsidiary in the trusted hands of DFDS. Denmark’s finest will continue to operate the ferry service in the Strait of Gibraltar along with the experienced local employees maintaining proven high-quality standards.
For the CEO of FRS, Götz Becker (55), the sale of the Iberia business is an important step for the expansion into new markets and a modernized, low-emission development of the ferry group.
He himself helped building up the Spanish subsidiary from 2001 and lived with his family in Tarifa for four years. With its headquarters in Tarifa, FRS Iberia has meanwhile become the largest employer in Europe's southernmost city. "We are closely linked to our employees, our friends and our ships in Morocco and Spain," says Becker. "And we are pleased to have found a partner in DFDS who will continue to run the company in a proven manner. The 750 employees of FRS Iberia will remain with DFDS." The transaction is subject to the approval of responsible Spanish and Moroccan competition authorities.
Becker added further: „We are growing more than ever and will continue to focus on existing and, in particular, new business areas in the national and international business environment.” In the recent past, FRS i.a. took over the family-run Elbfähre between Glückstadt and Wischhafen.
FRS, based in Flensburg, is an international ferry group. In the last few decades, FRS has grown from a regional passenger ferry operator into an internationally active group with 70 vessels and more than 1,500 employees from more than 40 countries all over the world. FRS annually carries 7.4 million passengers and 1.7 million vehicles on its numerous national and international shipping lines. Today, the FRS Group consists of 21 subsidiaries. In northern Germany, FRS is known, among other things, for the FRS Sylt ferry, all year-round island supply in cargo and passenger services. As of November 2019, the existing traffic got supported by a second ferry. FRS is also firmly rooted in Lower Saxony and Hamburg with the tourist excursion and scheduled services operated by FRS Helgoline. The "Halunder Jet" catamaran runs daily from Hamburg via Cuxhaven to the offshore island of Heligoland. The FRS Elbefähre between Glückstadt and Wischhafen has been part of the group of companies since 2020.
Photo-Credits: From left to right: Ronny Moriana (Managing Director of FRS Iberia), Götz Becker (CEO of FRS) and Tim Gädecken (Managing Director of FRS Iberia) in front of HSC „Levante Jet“.
FRS GmbH & Co. KG
24937 Flensburg / Germany
Tel.: +49 461 86422
Mobile: +49 162 1096770
Mail: [email protected]