Wärtsilä has acquired the global ship design group Vik-Sandvik, an independent group providing design and engineering services to ship owners and the ship building industry worldwide. The value of the acquisition is $209.5m, with an additional maximum sum of $60m to be paid based on the performance of the business over the next three years. In 2007, Vik-Sandvik's turnover was $87m and the profitability is on a very good level. The number of employees is 410. The role of ship design is becoming more and more important due to higher performance requirements, more sophisticated systems, and increased integration onboard most vessels. Also, the environmental and emission regulations regarding NOx and CO2 are becoming increasingly stringent. Through this acquisition, Wärtsilä can offer competitive solutions that will lead to better total efficiency, improved environmental performance, and reduced life cycle costs for its customers. Vik-Sandvik will be integrated into Wärtsilä Ship Design within Ship Power. All personnel - including the management - will continue as Wärtsilä employees. The acquisition is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, which are expected during the third quarter of 2008. Vik-Sandvik specializes in the design of high-end offshore vessels, as well as product and chemical tankers and more specialized vessels. It has for decades been recognised in the offshore market for its innovative designs and has achieved a strong global market position. As a part of Wärtsilä, the company has great potential for strong global growth and expansion into new market segments. Currently, Wärtsilä's ship design operations are carried out at its German company, Wärtsilä Ship Design , and future ship design services will be combined within Wärtsilä Ship Design. Arne Birkeland, 42, will be the head of the Ship Design unit. Birkeland joined Wärtsilä in 2006, and currently holds several other positions within the company. Birkeland is the President of Wärtsilä Norway AS, a Vice President of Wärtsilä Ship Power Technology, and a member of the Ship Power Management team.