Crowley Maritime Corp. and Svitzer Salvage have agreed to merge their salvage divisions. The new company will be named Ardent and will begin operations on May 1.

Svitzer, a market leader in emergency response, and Crowley’s TITAN Salvage, a leading wreck removal company that recently helped raise the Costa Concordia, will bring together their strong expertise in an entirely new entity that will offer customers an even broader range of capabilities and marine related services. Ardent ownership will be split 50-50 between Crowley and Svitzer.

“The company will become an industry leader in wreck removal and emergency response,” said Peter Pietka, chief executive officer of Ardent (formerly CEO of Svitzer Salvage). “Further, while remaining integral to our new company, emergency response and wreck removal will be part of a wider ecosystem of services. We have come together to build a more modern and effective offering for the maritime sector.”

Chris Peterson, vice president, TITAN, added: “This merger brings together some of the most experienced, highly regarded salvage experts in the world. Our combined strength means we can provide a stronger network in key global locations, it means best practices shared globally and it means a broad range of proven marine capabilities that will best serve the maritime industry for a long time to come.”

Ardent will be headquartered in Houston with operational offices in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The company will also have supporting offices in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Greece, South Africa and other regions.

“The real power and benefit for the industry of our merged business will be its capacity and ability to adapt to the changing needs of our customers,” said Pietka. “Ardent will serve as a strong platform for organic growth and new expansion opportunities in complementary businesses such as underwater services and offshore decommissioning. Structured for growth and diversification, we will create new opportunities for the company and its employees.”

In recent years, Svitzer had focused on being the loss-mitigation partner for the marine industry through their preparedness department and emergency response services.

“The creation of the new company with TITAN is the next step to becoming the safe choice for the industry,” said Pietka. “Not only can clients trust that operations will be carried out safely, but they can also rest assured that their interests will be cared for to the highest standards.”

The new executive management team will be led by Peter Pietka, along with Jeff Andreini, chief financial officer; Renier van den Bichelaer, chief commercial officer; and Paul van’t Hof, chief operations officer; and Chris Peterson, merger manager.

Svitzer Salvage is part of the Svitzer Group, a leading towage and marine salvage company. Svitzer Salvage’s headquarters are located in Ijmuiden, the Netherlands and supported by key response locations in the U.S., Singapore, South Africa, Australia and Brazil.

For more than 180 years, Svitzer has been at the forefront of providing specialized marine services. With a fleet of more than 400 vessels across more than 40 countries Svitzer offers solutions in the fields of harbor towage, terminal towage, and offshore marine services, as well as emergency response, preparedness, and salvage operations. Svitzer is part of the Maersk Group

TITAN, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crowley Maritime, is a worldwide marine salvage, emergency response and wreck removal company based in Houston that has performed more than 450 salvage and wreck removal projects since 1980, including some of the most technically demanding projects ever undertaken. The company also has offices and equipment depots in the UK, Singapore & Australia.