Smit Lamnalco to acquire PB Towage Australia

The 5,000-hp PB Leichhardt, one of PB Towage's newer harbor tugs The 5,000-hp PB Leichhardt, one of PB Towage's newer harbor tugs

DECEMBER 14, 2014—Smit Lamnalco strengthened its position in Australia towing market with the acquisition of PB Towage Australia (PB Towage), the second largest towing company in Australia. The announcement was made by Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis), which owns 50% of Smit Lamnalco.

The deal would see Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, Rotterdam, the Netherlands—one of the world’s largest operators of Handysize and Handymax dry bulk vessels—exit the harbor towing business. Pacific Basin Shipping Limited said the acquisition involved all of its shares in PB Towage, including all of its harbor towage operations, 16 harbor tugs, and two other assets—a harbor tug and a barge—owned by other PB companies.

"Pacific Basin has been engaged in the harbor towage business since 2007,” says Pacific Basin Shipping CEO Mats Berglund. “PB Towage Australia has done a great job for its customers, establishing itself as a leading provider of harbour towage services with a good reputation as a safe and quality-conscious operator. As we have previously stated, however, our strategy is to enhance our focus on our cornerstone dry bulk business.We are happy that, through this agreement with Smit Lamnalco, we are making good progress on our strategy while ensuring the PBTA business and its excellent team can continue to operate as a going concern under the ownership of a highly reputable towage group."

The transaction is expected to be completed in January 2015.

Following this transaction, Smit Lamnalco will be active in eight ports in Australia with a total of 29 vessels offering a combination of harbor towage, terminal and FPSO-related services.

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