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DFDS celebrates 150 years by giving shares to staff

Mar 08, 2017
Ferry Operator DFDS has recently announced that it is to give every one of its 7,000-plus employees shares in the company in celebration of its 150th anniversary.

All staff who were employed by the company on 1 December, 2016 and who work at least 24 hours a week will receive 30 shares, valued at around €1,300. Employees on fewer hours will receive shares proportional to the hours worked.

“Very few companies are in a position of being able to celebrate their 150th anniversary, and even fewer are able to do so in a year when the company is heading for possibly the best result in its history,” said DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard. “We have therefore wanted to combine the celebration of our foundation and our founders with a celebration of, and thanks to, our many employees who every day help to ensure that DFDS can continue contributing to trade, travel and growth also in the future.”

The shares are tied up for a three-year period, after which they can be freely redeemed by the employees, who now become co-owners in the company. The total allocation amounts to more than €9.4million.

To mark the anniversary the company also recently unveiled the world’s largest Lego ship at London’s Trafalgar Square. Jubilee Seaways is built from 1,015,000 Lego bricks and measures 12 metres in length. It took 900 hours to construct and has officially been awarded the Guinness World Record as the largest ever Lego ship. Every DFDS staff member was given 20 Lego pieces to build a ‘brick’ which Lego artist Warren Elsmore and his team then used to construct the design.

Gemma Griffin, Vice President of HR & Crewing for DFDS, said: “We wanted to celebrate our 150th anniversary by bringing all of our teams together to create something special and unique. Our staff across the UK and Europe can all take pride in being a part of this project, while also breaking a new world record.”

The construction of the Lego ship was supported by Lauritzen Fonden, a commercial foundation that supports projects with a social, cultural, educational and maritime focus in Denmark.

Photo: The Jubilee Seaways in Trafalgar Square, made with 1,015,000 Lego bricks.

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