Canada's Helm Operations Acquired by ClassNK

By George Backwell
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Ron deBruyne, CEO Helm: Photo ClassNK

ClassNK has announced the acquisition of Victoria, Canada-based maritime software company Helm Operations. The deal was hailed by both parties as two world-class companies joining forces to improve safety and operational efficiency in the marine industry, while greatly enhancing the success and capabilities of both organizations.

Tokyo-based ClassNK is one of the world’s largest classification societies, providing safety and certification services for more than 8,600 ships, representing about 20% of the global merchant fleet.

Founded in 1999, Helm Operations has grown to become a leading provider of manning, maintenance, dispatch, and HSQE software to the workboat and offshore industries, and Helm software is currently used on some 1,000 vessels belonging to some of the most respected workboat companies in the world, including SVITZER, Seaspan, Blessey Marine and Florida Marine Transporters.

“This is a very exciting day for Helm,” said Ron deBruyne, CEO and Founder of Helm Operations. “Since our founding, Helm has always been about providing great software to the maritime industry. We’ve been able leverage the incredibly talented IT community here in Victoria, which has also drawn the attention of global leaders like Amazon, and Ebay among others, and combine that with the know-how and experience from the workboat industry to create intuitive, user-friendly systems that contribute directly to improving the safety, efficiency, and profitability of workboat companies.

Yasushi Nakamura, Representative Director and Executive Vice President of ClassNK, praised the purchase, saying: “At ClassNK our mission has always been to ensure that global innovation is put to use for the benefit of the entire maritime industry. Commencing with the acquisition of NAPA earlier this year, and the acquisition of Helm now, we are bringing together a team of leading software companies from around the world in order to help achieve that goal.

"We’ve witnessed the impressive growth and success of Helm’s software systems over the years, and have seen first hand the incredible value that Helm’s software provides to workboat companies. Helm CONNECT for example makes HSQE management a simple and intuitive process for owners and operators, and we’re convinced that linking maritime companies and classification on a single, easy to use platform will be a huge contribution to the maritime industry."

About Helm Operations:
Since 1999 Helm Operations (formerly Edoc Systems Group) has been developing operations software for the tug and barge and OSV industries. Helm CONNECT is the flagship product of Helm Operations.

About ClassNK:
ClassNK is one of the world’s leading classification societies, dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the maritime industry, and ensuring the safety of ships, their crews, and the marine environment.

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