A joint venture run by three Italian tug owners has agreed to purchase a Greek operator to expand services in the Mediterranean
Italian tug owners Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, Neri and Cafimar operate in a joint venture company, Greece-headquartered GMC, that has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in a Greek tug owner.
GMC has signed a letter of intent to purchase 80% of Greek port towage and offshore support company Zouros Group, which provides services in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
Under the agreement, Zouros will continue to own 20% of the shares capital and remain responsible for the tug fleet operations, together with GMC.
The transaction will also involve the transfer of four azimuthing tugs within the GMC fleet to come under management of Zouros for port towage in Greece.
Combined, Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, Neri and Cafimar groups manage a fleet of more than 200 tugs, operating mainly in Italy, with a presence in other ports within the Mediterranean, Black Sea and South America.
Zouros provides harbour towage, offshore support, coastal towage and salvage services. It operates a fleet of 14 vessels with a combined bollard pull of 604 tonnes and 47,000 bhp.
The fleet includes six tugboats, five anchor handling tugs and three mooring and crew boats.
This is the second sale and purchase agreement announced in as many months concerning Mediterranean towage companies.
In May 2019, Scafi Societe di Navigazione (Scafi) purchased 50% of Greek company Vernicos Tugs & Salvage’s shares to form a new maritime entity – Vernicos Scafi Tugs & Salvage. This will operate a fleet of 70 vessels in the region.
The long-term strategy of that new company is to become a major player in the Mediterranean tug and salvage sector, while it will continue to focus on operations in Greece and Italy.