Maersk separates from towage unit Svitzer after 45 years

Danish liner giant Maersk separates itself from its towage business Svitzer signalling a new chapter for the towage player, which 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.

Now the board of directors of A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S has decided to initiate the separation through a demerger.

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

The directors of Maersk will propose the demerger for approval to the shareholders in a general meeting expected to be held on April 26.

Meanwhile, the shares in Svitzer will be distributed to the company’s 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.

The demerger and distribution of the Svitzer Group shares will be tax-exempt for Danish tax purposes.

The executive management team of Svitzer currently consists of CEO Kasper Friis Nilaus and CFO Knud Winkler, who will also serve as the executive management team in the future listed company, Svitzer Group.

The new board of directors of Svitzer, which consists of chair Morten H. Engelstoft, vice chair Robert M. Uggla, Christine Morris, and Peter Wikström, will be proposed as members of the board in Svitzer Group after the demerger, with one or two additional independent directors to potentially join in 2025.

Kasper Nilaus, Svitzer chief executive, said: “We were established by Emil Z. Svitzer in 1833 to prevent the loss of life and capital at sea. We have built on that legacy over many years and are widely recognised within the maritime and shipping sector as a trusted partner.

“The announcement today signals an exciting new chapter for Svitzer, one that ensures our commitment to delivering efficient, reliable and safe towage and marine services to our valued customers is as strong and dynamic as ever.”