Viking Supply Ships Acquires SBS Marine

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Viking Supply Ships AS (VSS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kistefos AS, has acquired a Scottish-based platform supply vessel company in a strategic move designed to augment its fleet portfolio and support its growth plans in international markets.

It has acquired 100% of the share capital of SBS Aberdeen Ltd, the parent company of SBS Marine Ltd (SBS). SBS operates four platform supply vessels (PSVs) and has two additional PSVs under construction in Norway, to be delivered in November 2006 and February 2007. All six vessels have long term contracts with five of the vessels ultimately working for drilling company Transocean in India and one vessel for Talisman Energy (UK) Limited in the North Sea.

The SBS business will be run as a stand-alone subsidiary of VSS. It will be a sister company of fellow VSS subsidiary Viking Offshore Services Ltd (VOS) , with VOS Chief Executive Graham Philip assuming the same role with SBS. Keith Fletcher, the current owner of SBS, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the business as General Manager.

Graham Philip, who is also a Director of VSS, said: “As part of VSS’s international growth strategy we have been seeking to add to our portfolio of marine services – which already include anchor-handling tug supply vessels (AHTSVs) as well as rescue and recovery vessels - and SBS is an ideal fit in that regard.

“SBS is a truly outstanding company with a very modern, high-quality fleet – as well as the new builds, three of its four existing vessels are less than three years old. It has consistently demonstrated innovation, introducing new design features to its vessels to enhance safety, efficiency and customer service.

“The company has a highly-professional shore-based team located in Portlethen, just outside Aberdeen. Led by Keith Fletcher, it has built up the business from one second hand PSV which it acquired in 2001. “Unusually in the marine industry, SBS operates a decentralised management structure with the vessel masters and chief engineers being responsible for all aspects of managing their vessels, which is extremely important when operating vessels in international markets.

“SBS will continue to operate very much as a discrete business within VSS and we are confident it will build on its reputation as one of the success stories of the marine services industry.”

The acquisition of SBS has been funded by equity provided by VSS and debt finance provided by Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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