Maersk, Crowley merge salvage businesses into Houston-based group

Maersk, Crowley merge salvage businesses into Houston-based group

Maersk and Crowley Maritime Corp. have agreed to merge their salvage businesses, Svitzer Salvage and Titan Salvage, into a new company, Ardent, which will begin operations on May 1.

“The company will become an industry leader in wreck removal and emergency response,” said Peter Pietka, CEO of Svitzer, who will assume the same position at Ardent.

“Further, while remaining integral to our new company, emergency response and wreck removal will be part of a wide ecosystem of services. We have come together to build a more modern and effective offering for the maritime sector.”

Ardent will be equally owned by Svitzer, Maersk’s global tugboat and salvage unit, and Crowley, and will be headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Svitzer, which operates over 400 vessels in more than 40 countries, swung to a loss of $270 million in 2014 from a $156 million profit in the previous year, as it wrote off the remaining $357 million book value of Australia’s Adstream, which it acquired in 2006.

Titan was the leading company involved in the raising of the wreck of the Costa Concordia, the ocean liner that sank off the coast of Tuscany, Italy, in January 2012. The salvage was regarded as most complicated operation of its kind ever undertaken.

 Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.