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MSC acquiring international harbor towage provider

Rimorchiatori Mediterranei operates in Europe, Asia and South America

MSC is acquiring Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, which operates in Europe, Asia and South America. (Photo: Rimorchiatori Riuniti)

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. is acquiring international harbor towage operator Rimorchiatori Mediterranei.

MSC said in an announcement Sunday that, through its wholly owned subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services Sarl, it had agreed to acquire 100% of the share capital of the towage operator from Rimorchiatori Riuniti and a fund managed by DWS’ infrastructure investment business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

In tweeting the “exciting news,” MSC CEO Soren Toft noted that MSC is not entirely new to the towage business. It launched MedTug in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2021. 

“At MSC, we want to continue to improve towage service efficiency and expand Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, building on the impressive work of the Genoese families that have developed the company the past 100 years,” Toft tweeted. 

Rimorchiatori, reportedly the world’s third-largest harbor tug company, operates in Italy, Malta, Singapore, Malaysia, Norway, Greece and Colombia. 

In the acquisition announcement, Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure for DWS, credited “Rimorchiatori Mediterranei’s management team for their work to keep the ports we serve safe and efficient, and for the outstanding energy and vision they have shown in transforming this business into a truly global player. With MSC, Rimorchiatori Mediterranei has found a partner which shares their drive and ambition for continued growth, and we are confident both parties will continue to deliver the full potential of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei.”

Rimorchiatori Riuniti was founded in Genoa, Italy, in 1922 and has grown to a fleet of approximately 170 harbor tugs. It will continue to own and manage ships and conduct offshore activities through its companies Crystal Pool and Finarge. 

Now the largest shipping line in the world, privately held MSC, headquartered in Geneva, employs more than 150,000 people in 155 countries. The shipping line sails on more than 260 trade routes, calling at 520 ports around the world. 

The deal remains subject to approvals, including from relevant competition authorities, MSC said. UniCredit acted as financial adviser, KPMG as accounting and tax due diligence adviser and Chiomenti as legal adviser to MSC. Lazard served as financial adviser and Pedersoli and Legance as legal advisers to Rimorchiatori Mediterranei and DWS. 

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Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.