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Boluda Continues Towage Industry Consolidation Buying Smit Lamnalco

tug acquisition
Boluda continues the consolidation to the towage industry buying Smit Lamnalco

Published Feb 10, 2023 1:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

Spain’s Boluda Corporación Marítima has reached an agreement to acquire Smit Lamnalco continuing its growth and consolidation in the towage industry. Boluda Towage says with the acquisition of the world's fifth-largest towage operator its combined operation will become a world leader with a fleet of 600 tugboats operating in 50 countries and serving 148 ports.

Smit Lamnalco, founded in 1963, currently owns 111 vessels providing towage services for port terminals with a global and diversified customer base in the LNG, tanker, and bulk segments. The company is jointly owned by the Boskalis Group and Rezayat Group.

"Smit Lamnalco is a solid company with more than 55 years of operational experience, present in more than 20 countries and with more than 1,600 employees worldwide,” said Vicente Boluda Ceballos, Deputy Chairman of Boluda Towage. “I have no doubt that this operation will be fruitful for both parties and especially for our customers who will benefit from a consolidated team, a diversified offer, and a greater capacity for intervention and innovation."

It is the latest in a series of transactions designed to consolidate the towage business. In 2019, Boskalis announced that it planned to divest its worldwide harbor towage activities. Boskalis has previously sold its stakes in Saam Smit Towage, which operated primarily in Central and South America, Kotug Smith Towage, which operates in Northern Europe, and Keppel Smit Towage, a joint venture with Keppel Offshore in Singapore.

Boluda, a family-owned company, started its port tug activities in Valencia, Spain in 1920 and in recent years has been a leader in the consolidation of the industry. In 2017, Boluda Corporación Maritima acquired the German towage companies of Unterweder Reederei and Lutgens & Reimers. Subsequently, they acquired Kotug Smit Towage from Boskalis as well as the harbor and offshore activities of Iskes Towage & Salvage, and Caledonian Towage of Scotland. The companies have been combined under the new brand name Boluda Towage.

“Boluda is a company that has never stopped growing and transforming itself,” said Vicente Boluda Fos, Chairman of Boluda Corporación Marítima. “This new stage is the logical consequence of previous evolutions that, over the last few years, have made us number one in port logistics services and the towage sector.”

According to the company, the acquisition will strengthen its presence in strategic markets such as Australia, the Middle East, and West Africa, where Smit Lamnalco has a strong presence. The combined companies will provide port towage as well as offshore and ocean towage and salvage operations.