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SAAM Consolidates Brazilian Tug Market Acquiring Starnav’s 21 Tugs

Brazilian tugs acquired
SAAM is expanding its leadership in South America acquiring 21 tugs in Brazil (SAAM)

Published May 4, 2023 7:59 PM by The Maritime Executive

Consolidation is continuing in the towage and tug segments of the industry. SAAM, which is already the leading provider of towage services in the Americas concluded the purchase of the tug operations of Brazilian offshore company Starnav. According to SAAM, the acquisition positions it as one of the market leaders in Brazil and compliments its existing operations which span South and Central America.

“This is one of the largest transactions in SAAM’s history and is part of our strategy to continue advancing our leadership in the towage industry,” said Macario Valdés, CEO of SAAM. “Brazil is home to our company’s largest operations and with this deal, we will have one of the most competitive, most modern fleets in that country.”

Starnav Serviços Marítimos was launched by the Detroit Group in 2007 to supply services to the offshore energy industry in Brazil. Starnav reports it currently has one of the largest and most modern fleets of “Hi-Spec” PSVs in the world, in addition to a modern fleet of tugboats (both port and oceanic) and Line Handler with high capacity of Bollard Pull and Maneuverability. The tugboat fleet operates in the main Brazilian ports such as Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Itaguaí, Vitória, São Luis, Santarém, Vila do Conde, Paranaguá, and Rio Grande and is comprised of powerful and modern vessels with 60 to 80t bollard pull capabilities.

SAAM is acquiring 19 tugs currently in operation and two additional vessels in the final phase of construction. The agreed-upon value of the Starnav assets is $ 198 million minus the outstanding debt on the assets which will be deducted at closing.

Once the new assets have been integrated SAAM Towage Brazil will have 69 vessels, one of the largest and most efficient fleets in the country and operating in 19 Brazilian ports. It represents a more than 40 percent increase in the size of the company’s fleet in Brazil. 

SAAM Towage overall provides services at over 90 ports in the Americas, completing more than 140,000 maneuvers for 40,000 vessels each year. The company has a fleet of more than 210 tugs operating in 14 countries primarily in Central and South America, as well as Canada’s West Coast.