Adelaide Steamship Company
The Adelaide Steamship Company was formed by a group of South Australian businessmen in 1875. Their aim was to control the transport of goods between Adelaide and Melbourne and profit from the need for an efficient and comfortable passenger service. For the first 100 years of its life, the main activities of the company were conventional shipping operations on the Australian coast, primary products, consumer cargoes and extensive passenger services.In the 1930s and 1940s, the company diversified into the airline operations, towage, shipbuilding, and the shipping of salt, coal and sugar. Adelaide Airways was formed in 1935, and purchased West Australian Airways before merging with Holyman's Airways to form Australian National Airways (ANA) in 1936. ANA was sold to Reg Ansett in 1957. In 1964, the Interstate fleet merged with McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co, and the partnership developed the world's first purpose built container ships. However, in 1973, the company ceased its shipbuilding operations, and in 1977, in its 103rd year of operation, the company sold its shipping related businesses, and ceased its connection with ship owning and operating. The company did, however, retain its interests in Tugboat operations.In the 1970s and 1980s, with John Spalvins at the helm, the company became a thriving and successful corporate raider with a very large and productive portfolio financed by huge borrowings. The recession of the early 1990s caused the nervous lenders, over 200 banks, to demand the return of their assets. This forced the liquidation of the portfolio, some of it at ""fire-sale"" prices, but most in a more orderly fashion via an ""arrangement"" with the creditor banks to avoid bankruptcy.With the completion of the liquidation, on 30 April 1997 the company was renamed to ""Residual Assco Group Limited"" in order that the Adelaide Steamship name could be reused. Residual Assco was delisted on 24 December 1999 ""at the entity's request"". In June 1997, the tug boat operations were floated on the Australian Stock Exchange under the name ""Adsteam Marine"". In 2001, Adsteam Marine acquired its joint venture partner (and major rival as the premier Australian towage operator), Howard Smith. Adsteam Marine became the largest towage operator in Australia and the United Kingdom, with further extensive operations in the South Pacific. In 2006, Adsteam Marine was acquired as the Pacific arm of the world's largest shipping company, AP Moeller-Maersk, thus removing the Adelaide Steamship name from the Australian Stock Exchange and Australian Company registers.