On Monday, June 10, Herkules signed an agreement to acquire Umoe Schat-Harding AS. The acquisition is being carried out in cooperation with the owners of Noreq AS, who, in parallel, are selling Noreq to Herkules and reinvesting a substantial amount in a new, joint holding company. The transactions are expected to be finalized the first half of July.
The intention with the acquisition is to build on Schat-Harding's and Noreq's strong market positions in the new combined company. For 2013 the companies expect total revenues of approximately NOK 1.2 billion.
Herkules Private Equity Fund III will be the principal owner of the new company, and it has experience owning and developing companies.
A process is currently ongoing to introduce new regulations for offshore lifeboats on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. They are expected to enter into force from 2015. “The new regulations for lifeboats on the Norwegian Continental Shelf will be an important growth driver for Schat-Harding as market leader. At the same time, Schat-Harding and Noreq combined will be able to lead the market internationally in relation to the offshore, cruise and merchant fleet segments,” said Morten Blix, Senior Partner of Herkules.
Schat-Harding said it has the world's largest service network for life-saving equipment, which it points out is also a competitive advantage for the company's equipment deliveries. As a result of the combination with Noreq, Schat-Harding will be the chosen service partner for Noreq's 4,200 units installed worldwide.
Schat-Harding's lifeboat type FF 1200 is the first in the world to have completed a full-scale test pursuant to the new requirements for free-fall lifeboats on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The FF 1200 also holds the record for the world's highest free fall – 65.1 meters.
According to Noreq, the company has enjoyed international success in recent years with its new series of “enclosed” lifeboat davits in which all the critical components of the davits are protected inside the davit structure – protected from demanding weather conditions and wear and tear. The new davits result in cost reductions in connection with installation and maintenance.
“I have been the owner of Umoe Schat-Harding for 26 years, and while the company has experienced some demanding years, the employees and management have successfully turned the company, so that it is now positioned for profitable growth. The year 2012 was the best in the company's history. Now is the right time to bring in new owners with competence and capital. I am convinced that the combination with Noreq will strengthen both companies and that Herkules will be an excellent owner that contributes to continued rapid growth and development from a Norwegian base,” said Jens Ulltveit-Moe, President and CEO, and majority owner of the Umoe Group.