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Aurelius Finances Ardent Management's Buyout of Co-Owners

Ardent responds to the high-profiled Caribbean Fantasy fire in 2016.
Ardent responds to the high-profiled Caribbean Fantasy fire in 2016.

By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-19 16:58:17

Aurelius Finance Company, an alternative direct lender, has provided financing to support the buy-out of Ardent, a global emergency management and offshore decommissioning company, from its co-owners Svitzer, a leading global towage operator, and Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of international marine and logistics services provider Crowley Maritime Corporation.

The deal will see Ardent’s senior management team acquire a shareholding in the company. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and closing is subject to approval by the German anti-trust authorities.

Established in 2015 through the merger of Svitzer Salvage and Titan Salvage, Ardent was created to provide comprehensive emergency management solutions to the maritime industry, in focusing its offering on services such as salvage and wreck removal. The company has established itself as a business independent of its shareholders and evolved and diversified its services to include offshore decommissioning of oil and gas platforms and facilities as well as subsea services.

Its main operational hubs are in Houston (US), Ijmuiden (Netherlands), Singapore and Sydney (Australia) supported by additional global offices and equipment depots.

Following the deal, Ardent will have expanded financial resources to help develop its position at the forefront of both the emergency management and offshore decommissioning industries whilst in addition expanding its offering of select sub-sea services. The Ardent growth potential is very significant.

Ardent’s CEO, Peter Pietka, will continue to lead the company with the same team, assets and growth plan. The company will also continue to cooperate with Svitzer and Crowley Maritime Corporation on unchanged terms.

Pietka commented: “Over the past four years, Ardent has successfully evolved from a provider solely focused on emergency management to one that is also an established player in the fast growing offshore decommissioning market. I am very proud of what the team has achieved and am pleased to continue on this exciting and promising journey in close collaboration with our customers and partners.”

Karun Dhir, Managing Director of Aurelius Finance Company, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Peter and the rest of the management team to support Ardent as it continues to develop its offering in a growing and high-potential market.”

Knud Winkler, Global CFO of Svitzer, commented: “I believe that we have found the right partners for the next stage in Ardent’s development. Svitzer was founded in 1833 as a salvage company and as such, maintaining safety at sea is part of our DNA. Over the past 185 years, Svitzer has gradually expanded into the towage industry, and today we are a world-leading marine services operator with towage at its core. To allow Ardent and Svitzer to continue growing within their respective business areas, we decided that this is the right time to restructure its ownership arrangements, and we are very happy with the partnership between Ardent and Aurelius, which brings new significant firepower to the business. Svitzer looks forward to continue the close cooperation with Ardent.”

Dan Warner, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Crowley Maritime, commented: “Not only does this transaction place Ardent in a good position for future growth and development, it also fits well with Crowley’s strategic growth plans as a global, singular provider of logistics services as well as superior marine and energy solutions. The deal will enable Crowley to continue its successful focus on services that add superior value for government and commercial customers, including non-asset-based solutions that complement our transportation services on land and sea.”

Svitzer and Crowley were advised on the transaction by ING Bank N.V.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.