SMIT and SAAM Form Towing Joint Venture

SMIT Ticuna, a 46t bollard pull harbor tug operating in Brazil. Photo: SMIT
SMIT Ticuna, a 46t bollard pull harbor tug operating in Brazil. Photo: SMIT

SMIT and Sudamericana Agencias Aereas y Maritimas (SAAM) are teaming up in a joint harbor towing operation that will involve two joint ventures and the combined operation of 96 tugs in ports from Canada to Brazil.

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., the parent company of SMIT, announced the partnership Thursday, saying that Boskalis has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SAAM for the towing partnership.

Boskalis says the geographic scope of the first venture covers the Brazilian towage market, where both SMIT and SAAM are currently active. Boskalis with SMIT will have a 51% majority share in the joint venture and the combination of a total of 41 tugs will form an important player in the growing market of Brazil.

In the second joint venture, SAAM will hold a 51% majority stake relating to the towage activities in Panama and Canada, where SMIT is currently active, and Mexico, where SAAM is active. The combination will operate a total number of 55 tugs.

Boskalis says the joint operation between SMIT and SAAM will create a leading provider of towage services in Central and South America, where it is expected to strengthen the market position of both companies.

Boskalis added that the total value of the SMIT and SAAM assets that will be contributed to the joint ventures is comparable.