KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) and Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) have reached agreement on the merger of their European harbour towage operations, so that the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties late 2014 now has been formalized.
The joint operations will be transferred to a 50/50 joint venture, combining the European harbour towage activities of KOTUG and SMIT, a Boskalis subsidiary. The operations will be executed under the entity ‘KOTUG SMIT Towage’ in order to retain both strong brand names and to benefit from the already well-established brand recognition in Europe.
KOTUG’s CEO Ard-Jan Kooren “The combined operation will allow us to meet the increasing demands of our international clients in order to supply them with an even higher level of efficiency and port call optimization. In this consolidating market we can offer competitive services against the highest operational and safety standards within the industry.”
The scope of the joint venture will include the harbour towage operations of KOTUG in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as the harbour towage operations of SMIT in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The activities of both partners in other parts of the world are excluded from this cooperation.
The merger will create a leading provider of harbour towage services in northwestern Europe. The joint venture will serve 11 ports in 4 countries with a fleet of 65 tugboats. The joint venture will result in operational synergies with a total combined revenue of approximately EUR 150 million.
The financial close will take place in the first quarter of 2016, followed by the operational integration.