January 20, 2024

Columbia and Sea World Management unite in Mediterranean push

Giant manager Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) is expanding its operations in France and Italy by sealing a joint venture deal with Sea World Management (SWM).

Monaco-based SWM owns product tankers, but also manages bulkers and cable-layers.

The new combined entity will be called Columbia Seaworld Management, or CSM Monaco for short.

The aim is to provide a full range of services to owners in the region, including those in the tanker, bulker, container, cruise, MPP, offshore, superyacht, private jet and asset management sectors.

Sea World controls nine MR tankers, and it manages handysizes and a panamax bulker, as well as four cable-layers.

Capitalising on SWM’s well-established network in the region, CSM Monaco will operate with SWM’s experienced management team in Monaco, boosted by relocating some CSM staffers, CSM said.

Roberto Corvetta, chief executive of SWM, said he feels “great satisfaction” over the transaction, which he sees as the tangible result of many years of hard work.

“We are proud to become partners of such [an] important group and we are committed to using all our energy and expertise for the success of the initiative, which, I am sure, will allow us to expand our world and to bring benefit to all our clients,” he added.

CSM has significant experience in the leisure sector through its Columbia Blue operation.

The group’s CEO Mark O’Neil said the joint venture agreement has brought together two like-minded businesses that were intent on driving bottom-line value to major players in an important European market.

A ‘suite’ of services

“CSM Monaco will bring the entire CSM suite of integrated maritime services, logistics, catering, private jet management, specialised leisure project management, and event management to existing and new clients in France, Italy and Monaco while capitalising effectively on the excellent network SWM has in the region,” he added.

“By combining the joint venture partners’ respective shared values and qualities, CSM Monaco can drive in valuable efficiencies and economies of scale into this market,” O’Neil said.

Since December, CSM has been on a deal roll.

Middle East deals

The last transaction involved an agreement to help expand the Middle East’s biggest shipyard.

The Cyprus-based company signed a memorandum of understanding with International Maritime Industries (IMI), a joint venture between oil giant Saudi Aramco, Lamprell, VLCC owner Bahri and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Before that CSM agreed a pioneering anti-piracy security deal with the French navy.

The Schoeller-controlled ship manager revealed a “voluntary naval cooperation protocol” was signed with the navy’s Maritime Information Cooperation and Awareness (MICA) centre in December.

Additional security will be provided in high-risk areas to more than 275 CSM ships.

And CSM has also set up a new finance company to spearhead a fresh drive into the Italian market and develop a new model for Italian shipowners seeking to re-enter the sector.

All this followed deals to add more than 100 offshore vessels to its joint venture CSM Saudi Arabia since its August launch.

Cyprus-based Columbia said the Saudi company, set up with Khobar-based oil services company Spectrum Group, has seen a leading group of “progressive” Saudi owners and operators join its platform.