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MSC purchases big Italian towage firm


Mediterranean Shipping Company today announced the acquisition of Genoa-based Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, which operates more than 100 tugboats in 18 ports worldwide. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 “We are very pleased to be able to become part of the exciting next phase for growth and improvement at Rimorchiatori Mediterranei and we look forward to continuing to expand the business, building on the impressive work of the families that developed the company these past 100 years,” said Diego Aponte, the founder and president of MSC Group.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction follows a period of significant expansion for Rimorchiatori. In June, the Italian company bought Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime, giving it a substantial footprint in Singapore, Malaysia and the Asia Pacific. In 2018, it bought up Sicilian towage outfit Navigation, Tugboats and Rescue, cementing its status as the largest towage provider in Italy. It also has towage operations in Malta, Norway, Greece and Colombia.

Under the transaction, MSC will acquire 100% of the companyès shares and a fund managed by Germany’s DWS.

MSC, which overtook Maersk as the world’s largest container line at the start of this year has been on a vast expansion spree. Now headed by ex-Maersk COO Soren Toft, the company has scooped up 240 secondhand ships in a little over two years and boasts a 2m teu order book, which is more than the combined order books of Maersk, CMA CGM and COSCO, the world’s second, third and fourth-largest liners, respectively.

“The evolution of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei has been a considerable success story for DWS; we are grateful for the strategic partnership we developed with Rimorchiatori Riuniti and its shareholders, and we are proud to have supported our industrial partner in managing and growing Rimorchiatori Mediterranei to become one of the global leaders in the harbor towage sector,” said Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure at DWS. (Photo MSC)