Boskalis and SAAM Joint Ventures Begin 100-Vessel Americas Harbor Towing Ops

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Dutch maritime services company Royal Boskalis Westminster and SAAM have announced the successful creation of a joint harbor towage operation consisting of 100 tugboats within North and South America.

The partnership, which is between SMIT – a Boskalis subsidiary, and SAAM was previously announced in September 2013.

The combined companies will operate two JVs under the name SAAM SMIT Towage (SST) and with a fleet of 100 tugboats operating in more than 30 port terminals in Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Panama. The total combined 2013 EBITDA of SST was USD 100 million.

The merger will generate synergies estimated at approximately USD 10 million per year, to be fully captured in the next 24 months, a statement from Boskalis said. Those synergies will mainly come from an increased fleet efficiency and cost savings, among others.

The geographic scope of the first joint venture covers the Brazilian towage market, where SMIT and SAAM already had operations. Boskalis and SAAM each hold a 50% share in this new joint venture.

With a total of 42 tugboats, the combination is an important player in the growing market of Brazil, operating in major ports such as Rio Grande, Itajai, Santos and Salvador.

The second joint venture, in which SAAM holds a 51% majority stake, relates to the towage activities in Panama and Canada (SMIT) and Mexico (SAAM). The combination will operate a total number of 58 tugboats. This joint venture will have presence in main ports of Canada (Prince Rupert and Vancouver), Panama (Manzanillo, Balboa, Colon Container Terminal) and Mexico (Veracruz, Lazaro Cardenas, Altamira, Tuxpan).