Since new owners took over Schat-Harding and Noreq in June, Styrk Bekkenes, chief executive of Noreq, has been appointed CEO of Harding – a new large joint company for the development and production of life-saving equipment.
Harding will have more than 900 employees in 30 different locations worldwide. Its head office will be at Seimsfoss in Kvinnherad.
The new owners, spearheaded by the investment fund Herkules, wish to further develop the best life-saving equipment from Schat-Harding and Noreq. The goal is to create an even better and more robust equipment manufacturer in a market that demands more and more as regards product quality, service and costs.
“We would like to mention in particular Styrk Bekkenes's in-depth knowledge of the life-saving industry, and his ability to inspire and motivate everyone in the organization. We believe Bekkenes is the right person to lead the new company and to make the most of the opportunities that will now arise,” said Kristian Eikre, board member of the company and partner in Herkules Capital AS.
“It is with great humility and respect I have accepted the job of CEO of this new joint enterprise combining Schat-Harding and Noreq. I really appreciate that Herkules has shown such great trust in me, and I am looking forward to getting started on the task together with the many capable employees we have in Harding,” Styrk Bekkenes said. The requirements for lifesaving equipment are changing, and the new company Harding will focus in particular on the Norwegian continental shelf. “We want to further develop Harding's leading position there and we want to offer the best solutions now that extensive replacement of freefall lifeboats is planned in the next few years. We will continue to be the largest and best supplier of service and life-saving equipment, while at the same time investing even more in these fields in other parts of the world, Asia in particular,” Bekkenes said. The 39-year-old was the founder of Noreq and he has been chief executive of the company since its start-up in 2006.
Harding's head office will be at Seimsfoss near Rosendal in Kvinnherad municipality.
“The three offices we have in Kvinnherad will be gathered under one roof at Seimsfoss as soon as practically possible. We will need larger premises to accommodate all our employees, and work on the extension will start as soon as practicable,” Bekkenes said, adding that that some members of the management team of the international company will be based in offices elsewhere in the world.