A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S announced today [8 February, European time] it will spin off its global towage division, Svitzer A/S, from end-April subject to shareholder approval.

“In line with its global integrator strategy, APMM has in recent years taken several steps to simplify its business and focus on integrated logistics. Building on this, the Board of Directors of APMM has decided to initiate the separation of APMM’s towage and marine services activities through a demerger,” the company said, in an announcement that coincided with the release of 4Q results.

“As part of the demerger, the shares in Svitzer A/S and its subsidiaries as well as certain other related assets and liabilities will be contributed by APMM to a new legal entity under the name of Svitzer Group A/S, the shares of which are expected to be admitted for trading and official listing on Nasdaq Copenhagen A/S (Nasdaq Copenhagen).

“Following the anticipated signing and publication of statutory demerger documents by APMM on or around 22 March 2024, the Board of Directors of APMM intends to propose the demerger for approval by the APMM shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting expected to be held on 26 April 2024. Subject to such approval at the extraordinary general meeting of APMM, the shares in Svitzer Group will be distributed to APMM shareholders, who in addition to their existing shareholding in APMM, will become shareholders in Svitzer Group. The anticipated first day of trading for the shares of Svitzer Group on Nasdaq Copenhagen is on 30 April 2024.”

In 2022, revenue was US$774 million and EBITDA was US$229 million. In 2023, revenue was US$839 million and EBITDA was US$246 million. APMM said the executive management team would transfer to Svitzer Group A/S and the new company will continue to be headquartered in Copenhagen and operate under the Svitzer name.

Svitzer has been part of the Maersk Group of companies for more than 40 years. In 1979 Maersk became a majority shareholder of Svitzer and acquired it shortly after, and in December 2006 completed its takeover of Australia’s Adsteam marine.

The Switzer spin-off comes at a dynamic time in the Australasian towage industry.

Spain’s Boluda Group is yet to complete the worldwide takeover of main local Svitzer rival Smit Lamnalco, which is also expected to lead to a separation between SL and Engage Towage (helmed by former Svitzer Australia MD Mark Malone.

Svitzer Australia’s website says the company employs 1000 people and utilises more than 100 vessels to complete over 50,000 harbour towage jobs per annum in 28 ports and terminals in Australia and Papua New Guinea.