Crowley Maritime Corp. and Svitzer have agreed to merge their salvage divisions to create a new company named “Ardent.” The company will be equally owned by Crowley and Svitzer, and will commence operations on May 1, 2015.
Svitzer Salvage is part of Svitzer Group – part of A.P.Moller – Maersk Group – with headquarters in Ijmuiden, the Netherlands. The company is known for its emergency response, including towage and marine salvage. Houston-headquartered TITAN Salvage is a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida-based Crowley Maritime Corporation and specializes in marine salvage, emergency response and wreck removal. TITAN is well-known for the successful removal of the Costa Concordia, which is considered the most costly and complex maritime salvage in history.
Ardent will be formed as an entirely new entity.
“The company will become an industry leader in wreck removal and emergency response,” said Peter Pietka, chief executive officer of Ardent and formerly CEO of Svitzer Salvage. “Further, while remaining integral to our new company, emergency response and wreck removal will be part of a wider ecosystem of services. We have come together to build a more modern and effective offering for the maritime sector.”
Chris Peterson, vice president, TITAN, added: “This merger brings together some of the most experienced, highly regarded salvage experts in the world. Our combined strength means we can provide a stronger network in key global locations, it means best practices shared globally and it means a broad range of proven marine capabilities that will best serve the maritime industry for a long time to come.”
Ardent will be headquartered in Houston, Texas, with operational offices in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The company will also have supporting offices in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Greece, South Africa and other regions.
“The real power and benefit for the industry of our merged business will be its capacity and ability to adapt to the changing needs of our customers,” said Pietka. “Ardent will serve as a strong platform for organic growth and new expansion opportunities in complementary businesses such as underwater services and offshore decommissioning. Structured for growth and diversification, we will create new opportunities for the company and its employees.”
In recent years, Svitzer had focused on being the loss-mitigation partner for the marine industry through their preparedness department and emergency response services.
“The creation of the new company with TITAN is the next step to becoming the safe choice for the industry,” said Pietka. “Not only can clients trust that operations will be carried out safely, but they can also rest assured that their interests will be cared for to the highest standards.”
The new company will operate under the name Ardent, which means “intensely devoted.”
The new executive management team will be led by Peter Pietka, along with Jeff Andreini, chief financial officer; Renier van den Bichelaer, chief commercial officer; and Paul van’t Hof, chief operations officer; and Chris Peterson, merger manager.
Ardent will begin operating May 1 as one legal and financial entity under a singular management team, after which there will be a short transitional period in which the two companies will fully integrate all operational systems including IT, HSEQ, financial, commercial and operations.