Leading airline MSC Shipping has agreed to buy a major Italy-based towage company, Rimorchiatori Mediterranei.
The Genoa-based tugboat company is the largest in Italy and operates more than 100 tugboats in 18 port centers worldwide. It is a subsidiary of Rimorchiatori Riuniti, a ship owner and operator with 100 years of history.
The purchase comes after a period of significant expansion for Rimorchiatori. In June, Italian company Keppel Smit bought Towage and Maju Maritime, giving it a sizeable presence in Singapore, Malaysia and Asia Pacific. In 2018 the company bought the Sicilian tugboat company Navigation, Tugboats and Rescue, cementing its status as the largest tugboat operator in Italy. It also has towing operations in Malta, Norway, Greece and Colombia.
“We are delighted to be part of the exciting next phase of growth and improvement at Rimorchiatori Mediterranei and we look forward to continuing to grow the business, building on the impressive work of the families who have run the company over the past 100 years have built,” said Diego Aponte, Founder and President of the MSC Group.
MSC has been on an acquisition spree to increase market share, buying, chartering and ordering dozens of vessels to solidify its status as number one in the ocean freight ecosystem. Last year it also bought Brazilian domestic freight operator Log-In Logistica and French port and logistics operator Bolloré Africa Logistics. In the cruise sector, she pursued a bid for the cruise terminal operator Global Ports Holding (unsuccessful).
The sale of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei is a welcome win for Deutsche Bank subsidiary DWS, a German asset management firm that has a 35 percent stake in the towing company.
“The development of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei has been a remarkable success story for DWS; We are grateful for the strategic partnership we have developed with Rimorchiatori Riuniti and its shareholders and we are proud to have supported our industrial partner in leading and growing Rimorchiatori Mediterranei to become one of the world leaders in the port towing sector ‘ said Hamish Mackenzie, Head of Infrastructure at DWS.