Boskalis to Buy Out Smit Lamnalco JV After Earlier Deal with Boluda

harbor tug
Boskalis will take full ownership of Smit Lamnalco ending the morethan 60 year JV (Smith Lamnalco file photo)

Published Jul 8, 2024 3:09 PM by The Maritime Executive


Royal Boskalis signed an agreement to acquire all remaining shares (50 percent) of Smit Lamnalco, a leading operator of harbor and terminal tugs as well as offshore services. It is buying out its joint venture partner the Rezayat Group, an investment company, to take full ownership of the operation after previously reporting its intent to divest of its harbor towage activities. In 2023, the partners had made a deal to sell Smit Lamnalco to Spain’s Boluda Group.

Boluda Group reported the planned acquisition in February 2023 saying it was part of its strategy to grow its global presence. It cited the opportunity to strengthen its presence in strategic markets such as Australia, the Middle East, and West Africa, where Smit Lamnalco has strong operations. Smit Lamnalco was described as the fifth largest towage operator but when the deal had not closed by early 2024 while Boluda completed other smaller acquisitions, there were unconfirmed reports of issues with the proposed deal.

Boskalis after saying in 2019 that it planned to divest its worldwide harbor towage activities, completed a series of smaller deals. Boskalis 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.

Smit Lamnalco was founded in 1963, as Lamnalco a 50/50 partnership between the Boskalis Group and Rezayat Group. The company grew expanding its geographic operations and in 2011 acquired Smit Terminals and took on its new merged identity. According to Boskalis the company currently has annual revenue of approximately $275 million and EBITDA of $100 million in 2023.

The group reports a fleet of 160 vessels providing towage services for port terminals with a global and diversified customer base in the LNG, tanker, and bulk segments. The company operates in 25 countries with the fleet consisting of tugs, OSVs, and crew and pilot boats.