Mediterranean Shipping Company has confirmed that it is set to acquire international towage operator Rimorchiatori Mediterranei.

The company is being acquired from Rimorchiatori Riuniti and Frankfurt-listed asset management company DWS Group, which has a 35% stake.

“With this transaction, MSC continues to confirm its willingness to further improve towage service efficiency across all Rimorchiatori Mediterranei’s operations,” the Swiss liner and cruise company said.

Rimorchiatori Riuniti executive vice president Gregorio Gavarone said that MSC was going to be the “ideal investor to accompany Rimorchiatori Mediterranei towards its next growth chapter”.

“We believe Rimorchiatori Riuniti, together with DWS, has done an incredible job over the past few years to support Rimorchiatori Mediterranei in becoming one of the leading towage companies in the world,” he added.

Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure at DWS added: “The evolution of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei has been a considerable success story for DWS; we are grateful for the strategic partnership we developed with Rimorchiatori Riuniti and its shareholders.

“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.”

Completion remains subject to the receipt of approvals, including from the relevant competition authorities, MSC said.

UniCredit acted as financial adviser to MSC, while Lazard advised Rimorchiatori Riuniti and DWS.

The disposal leaves Rimorchiatori Riuniti, which has been in operation since 1922, with a fleet of three panamax bulkers and a number of offshore support vessels, according to its website.

In June this year Rimorchiatori Mediterranei completed the acquisition of Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime, two of the largest providers of harbour towage services operating in Singapore and Malaysia.

The transaction saw the company acquire a fleet of 60 tugs taking its total global fleet to 170 tugs and making it the world’s third-largest harbour towage operator.