Business Round-Up: Spies sold to Norwegian billionaire - The Post

Business Round-Up: Spies sold to Norwegian billionaire

Nosedive imminent (photo: Fabrizio Gandolfo)
November 5th, 2019 4:59 pm| by Roselyne Min

The Danish travel company Spies now has new owners following the completion of a 6 billion kroner takeover.

A consortium led by Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen (40 percent) along with capital funds Altor and TDR Capital (40 and 20 percent) has taken control.

Several bids on table
Since Thomas Cook Northern Europe’s bankruptcy in October, it had received several bids, and one has finally been accepted for Spies along with several other regional subsidiaries, including Ving, Tjæreborg and Globetrotter

Unlike its parent company in the UK, Thomas Cook Northern Europe was a profitable business, but in September it had to stop its operations in connection with the bankruptcy and look for a new owner.

Healthy business
A month later, Spies chief executive Jan Vendelboe confirmed to TV2 that sales had stabilised and that business was healthy.

Stordalen is probably best known as the owner of the Nordic Choice Hotels group, which has had a heavy presence at Copenhagen Airport since 2017.

Export downturn to hit hard – and particularly some of the capital’s suburbs
According to a recent report from Dansk Erhverv, Danish exports are expected to undergo a 2 percent downturn due to the global recession. In 2018, the value of exports came to 200 billion kroner, amounting to 520,000 jobs in Denmark, and the downturn is expected to chop off 24 billion kroner and result in a loss of 11,000 full-time positions, of which 6,400 will be in the service sector. The report indicates that Tårnby Municipality, where Copenhagen Airport is located, is the most vulnerable, as exports account for 69 percent of its GDP, with Gentofte (63) and Gladsaxe (60) not far behind. The national average is 27 percent.

Danish pension funds to buy up real estate
Six of the eight biggest Danish pension funds have told Bloomberg that they are expanding their property portfolios. This is mainly due to negative bond yields, which are expected to continue for several more years. Consequently the funds are trying to secure stable returns. The housing minister, Kaare Dybvad, has condemned some investors for taking advantage of loopholes that enable landlords to raise rents. According to Bloomberg, Dybvad wants to cap rents to restrict the firms from abusing the legislation.