Ferry operator Stena Line purchased smaller Swedish ferry group Scandlines AB from the state owned railway group SJ for $67.5 million.
Scandlines, with 1,180 staff, runs ferries on five routes from Helsingborg and Trelleborg in southern Sweden to Helsingor and Copenhagen in Denmark, and to Sassnitz, Rostock and Travemunde in Germany.
Stena Line said the opening of the Oresund Bridge in July 2000, linking Sweden and Denmark, would hit Scandlines' operations. The ferry group already closed a Limhamn-Dragor service, and Helsingborg-Copenhagen ferries will stop next July.
"The Oresund Bridge is expected to have a negative effect on Scandlines' operations and this has affected Stena Line's valuation of the Scandlines AB," Stena Line officials
said, adding that the number of passengers, cars and freight vehicles in southern Sweden had been significant in recent years and the group had a long term goal to get a footing in the region.
"Scandlines' network will improve Stena Line's position in the region. There will be synergy effects in purchasing, ferry costs, marketing and sales and even in administration," officials said.