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December 19, 2005

Smit buys stake in Brazilian towage company

SMIT is taking another step in its strategy of expanding its harbor towage activities. It is acquiring 50 percent of Brazil's Rebras--Rebocadores do Brasil S.A.

Rebras already owns three 55 ton bollard pul ASD harbor tugs which are chartered out on bare boat basis.

The company, to be renamed SMIT Rebocadores do Brasil S.A., aims to operate a minimum of twenty tugs in the 45 to 65 tons bollard pull range.

The company has a commitment from a Brazilian shipyard to building twelve 45 ton bollard pull and six 65 ton bollard pull tugs that will be locally financed.

Delivery of the first new tugs is planned in the course of 2007.

Brazil is rseen by Smit as a rapidl growing market for harbor towage services that requires modern, state of the art tugs with larger capacities than presently available.

Smit CEO, Ben Vree, says: "We focus mainly on strategic crossroads in shipping routes, which allows us to provide our customers with a global harbor towage network. We aim to offer identical services to our customers worldwide and therefore we seek for expansion that adds value, particularly in growth markets like Brazil. A number of our key customers have indicated that they would welcome a prominent role for Smit in the Brazilian harbour towage market. SMIT is committed to offer its customers services on a global basis which certainly includes Brazil."

The transaction is intended to be completed by the end of January 2006