KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) and Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) have announced that they have successfully formalized a joint venture for their European harbour towage operations.
The joint operations are transferred to a 50/50 joint venture, combining the European harbour towage activities of KOTUG and Boskalis’ subsidiary SMIT. In order to retain both strong brand names and to benefit from the already well-established brand recognition in Europe, the merged operations will operate under the entity ‘KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE’. The operational integration will start on April 7th, 2016.
With a fleet of 65 tugboats, KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE will be a leading provider of harbour towage services in northwestern Europe, operating in 11 ports in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. The geographical footprint of both KOTUG and SMIT is complementary. Activities of both partners in other parts of the world are excluded from this cooperation.
KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE stands for high quality towage with a strong focus on tailor made services. The joint venture will achieve synergies, mainly from economies of scale benefits as well as opportunities for smarter operations– e.g. improved tug utilisation. As the operations are further integrated, sharing of joint experience, expertise and best practices will generate additional value.
KOTUG’s CEO Ard-Jan Kooren commented: “The combined operation allows us to meet the increasing demands of the maritime industry in order to supply our clients with an even higher level of efficiency and port call optimization in Europe.”
“By drawing on a combined track record over 350 years of experience and knowledge in the maritime industry and with a passionate workforce, the joint venture will further strengthen its high quality towage services. In this consolidating market KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE is able to offer competitive services against the highest operational and safety standards within the industry.”