Denmark's Moller-Maersk shipping company sells shares in retail branch to longtime partner

COPENHAGEN – Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says it has sold a majority stake in the business running its retail branches as it moves to focus more on its core business.

In a key strategic move, Maersk says its joint venture partner, Denmark’s Salling Group, has bought 48.68 per cent of the shares in Dansk Supermarked Group, which has around 1,200 shops in four European countries.

Maersk say it will get 17 billion kroner ($3.1 billion) from Tuesday’s business dealings and book a gain of around 14 billion kroner, depending on the date of the transaction.

CEO Nils S. Andersen said Tuesday the “time is right” for the shipping group to offload the shares it has held since 1964.