Dutch marine services provider Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and KOTUG International B.V., a leading harbor towage company also based in the Netherlands, have agreed to merge their European harbor towage businesses.
The two companies on Monday announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a 50/50 joint venture that will combine the European harbor towage activities of SMIT, a Boskalis subsidiary, with the European harbor towage activities of KOTUG.
Boskalis says the merger is the final step in the company’s strategy aimed at establishing regional partnerships for its harbor towage activities, as was previously done through Smit Lamnalco, Keppel SMIT and most recently SAAM SMIT.
The scope of the joint venture will encompass the harbor towage operations of SMIT in the Netherlands and Belgium and the harbor towage operations of KOTUG in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, forming a leading provider of harbor towage services in northwestern Europe. The joint venture will serve 11 ports in 4 countries with a fleet of more than 60 tugboats. The total combined revenue of the joint venture is estimated at approximately EUR 150 million.
Boskalis says it expects to free up nearly EUR 100 million in cash from the proposed transaction, primarily due to the refinancing of the activities. The MoU will be implemented subject to customary conditions, such as due diligence and regulatory approval in the countries to which the joint venture pertains, and in consultation with the works councils.