APRIL 21, 2015—Starting May 1 there will be a new name in maritime salvage and emergency response—Ardent. The new company will be 50/50 owned by Crowley Maritime Corporation, Jacksonville, FL, and Svitzer, Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, after the two companies struck a deal to merge their salvage operations.
Ardent’s executive management team will be led by CEO Peter Pietka; with Jeff Andreini, CFO; Renier van den Bichelaer, Chief Commercial Officer; Paul van’t Hof, COO; and Chris Peterson, Merger Manager.
Pietka, the former CEO of Svitzer Salvage, says Ardent “will become an industry leader in wreck removal and emergency response. Further, while remaining integral to our new company, emergency response and wreck removal will be part of a wider ecosystem of services. We have come together to build a more modern and effective offering for the maritime sector.”
Svitzer Salvage, is part of the Svitzer Group, a leading towage and marine salvage company that is, in turn, part of the Maersk Group. Svitzer Salvage is headquartered in Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, but has key response centers located around the world including in the U.S., Singapore, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil.
Meanwhile, Titan Salvage is a wholly owned subsidiary of Crowley Maritime. It is headquartered in Houston, TX, and is probably best known for its work on the raising of the Costa Concordia, one of the most technically challenging and most expensive salvage projects in history. Since 1980, Titan has performed more than 450 salvage and emergency response projects and has offices in the U.K., Singapore, and Australia.
Chris Peterson, Vice President of Titan Salvage, adds, “This merger brings together some of the most experienced, highly regarded salvage experts in the world. Our combined strength means we can provide a stronger network in key global locations.”
To be headquartered in Houston, Ardent will also have operational offices in the Netherlands, the U.K. and Singapore. Ardent will also have supporting offices in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Greece, South Africa, and other regions.
“Ardent will serve as a strong platform for organic growth and new expansion opportunities in complementary businesses such as underwater services and offshore decommissioning,” says Pietka. “Structured for growth and diversification, we will create new opportunities for the company and its employees.”
In recent years, Svitzer has focused on being the loss mitigation partner for the marine industry through its preparedness department and emergency response services. “The creation of the new company with Titan is the next step to becoming the safe choice for the industry,” says Pietka.
Ardent will begin operating May 1 as one legal and financial entity under a singular management team, after which there will be a brief transitional period in which the two salvage companies integrate all of their operational systems including IT, HSEQ, financial, commercial and operations. During this transitional period all customers should initially continue to contact Titan or Svitzer Salvage via existing phone numbers and e-mail addresses.