Svitzer is selling its Portuguese harbour and towage business to Pioneiro do Rio, Serviços Maritimos due to falling volumes and tough market conditions.
It has agreed to divest all of its assets, including 15 tugboats, to Pioneiro do Rio, in which the current managing director of Svitzer Portugal, Rui Cruz, is among the owners.
Svitzer’s operations in Portugal cover the three ports of Lisbon, Setubal and Sines. Svitzer Europe managing director Kasper Friis Nilaus says the company faced falling business, and the synergy between the Portuguese ports and Svitzer’s remaining European and global portfolio had proven limited.
“The market conditions in Portugal are difficult, especially the declining volumes,” said Mr Nilaus. “We want to deliver not only strong operational performance but also strong financial performance everywhere we operate.”
This divestment includes Svitzer’s crew, shore staff and tug fleet in Portugal. “The divestment will free up time and resources to execute our wider corporate strategy and to pursue other growth opportunities,” said Mr Nilaus.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, which includes a mandatory filing with the Portuguese competition authority submitted by the buying party. Subject to meeting the closing conditions and obtaining approval from the Portuguese authorities, this divestment is expected to be completed before the end of 2019.