ABS Withdraws From RINA Negotiations

Monday, February 05, 2001
Citing irreconcilable differences in the structuring of a proposed alliance between ABS and RINA, ABS has withdrawn from further negotiations with RINA. "It is our understanding that RINA and Bureau Veritas will sign a letter of intent to merge certain of their operations," said ABS Chairman and CEO Frank J. Iarossi. "We extend our best wishes for success to both parties." ABS and RINA had spent more than a year exploring possible ways of structuring an alliance that would have strengthened the services offered to RINA's core constituency of Italian shipowners. "Throughout, we always had the interests of the shipowners at the forefront of our discussions," added Iarossi. "We constantly sought their advice on what would be the best administrative and operational structure to enhance the level of classification services that would be available to them." ABS has maintained an office and operations in Italy for almost 80 years, with current headquarters in Genoa. "We already count many Italian shipowners among our clients and members," said Iarossi. "Although it has not been possible to conclude an arrangement with RINA, I can personally assure these owners that ABS will continue to develop and offer the highest quality classification services for them and their colleagues. ABS is fortunate to enjoy an esteemed reputation in this market and we look forward to serving the vibrant Italian maritime community in the future. " BV, RINA Form Alliance Bureau Veritas and RINA have agreed to form an alliance. A letter of intent signed in Rome by both parties sets a period of 90 days for due diligence and finalzing details of the future structure of the alliance. It is expected that the board of RINA will retain a controlling shareholding in RINA's marine business, and that BV will take a controlling stake in RINA's industrial and certification business. The alliance will preserve the identity of both classification societies and focus initially on technical co-operation in the marine field. Executive vice president of Bureau Veritas, Bernard Anne, says, "We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with RINA which will build on our experience of working together in UNITAS, and which will form the foundation of a future world ranking European classification society. Italian shipowners will benefit from the technological co-operation and world-wide network which BV can bring to the alliance. We are confident that our experience in the industry and certification sectors will help RINA widen its range of services and create more employment in Italy." Nicola Squassafichi, chief executive of RINA, says, "We concluded over eighteen months ago that it would be in the best interests of our clients if RINA could form an alliance which would strengthen our global outreach. At the same time, we wanted to ensure that RINA's unique skills and wide experience would be retained and our proud tradition preserved. This alliance with BV will strengthen RINA and help us to grow, which will benefit our clients and our staff."

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