Boluda Towage will focus its growth investment in the Baltic, German and Polish markets after it acquired Dutch company Iskes Towage & Salvage
Boluda Towage vice president Vicente Boluda Ceballos and Iskes Towage owner Jim Iskes signed the purchase agreement in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 16 February. Iskes Towage & Salvage will operate as a separate entity directly under Boluda’s control from its headquarters in Valencia, Spain.
This opens markets in the northern Europe where Boluda already operates, and some it has not yet penetrated including harbour operations, coastal towage and offshore activities in northwest Europe, Portugal and the Baltic.
Boluda Towage said this purchase “strengthens the company’s position as a market leader in port towage and sustainable maritime solutions in Europe, opening up further expansion into new ports in the Netherlands and Germany, and entry into Portugal.” Boluda said its principal focus will be in the Baltic, Kiel Canal and Polish markets.
Iskes will operate under new managing director Ronald Vergouwen. Mr Iskes has stepped away from management but remains on board as a strategic advisor.
Boluda has acquired the port towage activities of Iskes in Eemshaven, the Netherlands; Lubeck, Germany; and Lisbon, Portugal. It has purchased Iskes’ offshore activities, together with the management and office staff in the head office in IJmuiden, the Netherlands.
This acquisition follows Boluda’s strategy to bolster its northern European market position. It acquired the Kotug Smit Towage joint venture in a €300M (US$330M) deal in Q3 2019 to enter the UK and Benelux towage markets.
It subsequently invested in new tugs in 2020 for operations in Belgium. VB Bolero and VB Rumba arrived in Zeebrugge, Belgium in December 2020, where they will support shipping at various terminals and docks.
Iskes has scaled back its operations in the Netherlands, possibly in preparation for a corporate acquisition. In December 2019, Iskes sold its stake in joint venture Port Towage Amsterdam (PTA) in the Netherlands to its partner Svitzer. PTA was formed in 2014 by the two companies.
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