Marine and Towage Services snapped up by Australian trade buyer

Tug boat and marine service operators Marine Towage Services has been bought by Bhagwan Marine, GrowthBusiness can exclusively reveal.

Australia-based and private equity-backed Bhagwan Marine has made a UK acquisition by purchasing Marine and Towage Services (MTS) for an undisclosed amount.

The acquired business, which was set up in 1996 by ‘sole shareholder’ Jon Parslow, operates a fleet of tug boats and other specialist vessels worth a combined £30 million.

Based in Cornwall, MTS recently reported an EBITDA of £4 million and provides services such as coastal towage, deep-sea towage and marine support on an international basis.

Bhagwan Marine is supported by private equity firm Catalyst Investment Partners and is primarily focused on the oil and gas market. The family-owned business has a fleet of 100 specialist vessels and believes that the MTS deal will offer ‘compelling synergies’ as well as development opportunities.

Catalyst acquired a ‘significant’ shareholding in Bhagwan Marine back in February 2012, whereby it was agreed that the investor would provide capital for the future growth of the business through expansion and development of its vessel fleet.

The sale was handled by Bluebox Corporate Finance, which has now overseen five transactions during 2014, and is set to see MTS grow out its offering in partnership with Bhagwan.

More on Bluebox Corporate Finance:

Harry Simmons, analyst at Bluebox, comments, ‘The sale of MTS to Bhagwan has not only provided our clients with a lucrative exit, but has also provided an enhanced platform that will allow for the continued development of the company in coming years. That was a key requirement from the outset.’

Alongside its core offering, MTS says that it has built up ‘extensive experience’ in the offshore renewables industry through work with wind, wave and tidal contractors. The business will now continue to trade under the same name.

Jon Parslow, who will continue as managing director of MTS and also general manager international of the wider Bhagwan group says, ‘Bluebox’s access to international purchasers, and exceptional knowledge of cross-border M&A, ensured that the deal was concluded efficiently, achieving a highly successful outcome for us all.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

Related Topics