Henrik Uhd Christensen
With the acquisition of Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue (FSR) division, VIKING increases its global volume, reach and technical competencies for marine firefighting equipment services (MFS). VIKING Life-Saving Equipment - the global safety solutions and service provider, announced its acquisition of Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue (FSR) division this month. “Welcoming on board one of the top three marine fire service providers in the world, the acquisition is in alignment with VIKING’s long-running strategy to be the world’s leading one-stop solutions and service provider, and a trusted safety partner for the marine and offshore industry,” says VIKING CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. multi-brand lifeboat service provider The acquisition is a significant boost to VIKING’s marine fire service capability base This deal follows last year’s major acquisition of Norsafe, which saw VIKING achieve its status as a high-quality lifeboat, rescue boat and davit OEM, while boosting the company’s profile as a multi-brand lifeboat service provider. Along the same lines, Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue division brings further strength to VIKING’s portfolio and boosts its industry profile as an end-to-end supplier of full-scope maritime safety solutions. More specifically, the acquisition is a significant boost to VIKING’s marine fire service capability base and global market presence within this field. “In terms of competencies and services, the acquisition will provide customers with more advanced expertise and capabilities in marine fire services and dry-docking, as well as wider product choice and service flexibility,” says VIKING CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. advanced digital planning software At the moment, Drew Marine FSR provides services in more than 150 ports across 45 countries. The division offers a complete range of FSR services, specializing in solutions for fixed-firefighting foam, fixed-extinguishing and dry-powder systems – along with calibration solutions for gas detection, medical oxygen, and dry-docking services. All these capabilities and not least the experience and know-how of the large team of Drew Marine FSR technicians, will transfer to the VIKING MFS setup. Following the acquisition, the Drew Marine FSR headquarters in Rotterdam will take on a new role as VIKING’s new global MFS competency center. This will be supported by a strong and ever growing network of MFS capable servicing stations worldwide. Like VIKING, Drew Marine FSR operates using advanced digital planning software to streamline services and consistently meet customers’ needs. VIKING Shipowner Agreement expanded The acquisition will see 50+ Drew Marine FSR staff at seven locations transferred to VIKING Now, customers will have access to a portal where they can view service history, budget and planning. Customers will also rest assured knowing that Drew Marine FSR holds approvals from the majority of established classification societies. VIKING’s strategic decision to acquire Drew Marine’s FSR division will also advance the VIKING Shipowner Agreement concept, which allows vessel owners and operators to streamline and simplify all aspects of safety equipment compliance with a single global expert supplier. VIKING and Drew Marine have been in dialogue about a potential acquisition of the Drew Marine FSR business since the summer of 2019. Drew Marine itself was procured by private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners in late June 2019. core chemistry business In turn, Drew Marine’s new CEO, Frank Monteiro, set a new strategic direction for the company, focusing more explicitly on their core chemistry business and technical expertise. Consequently, the quest for a suitable partner to take ownership of Drew Marine’s FSR division began. In the process, it has been important to identify a partner that could be trusted to secure the business going forward, while taking good care of existing FSR customers and employees. The acquisition will see 50+ Drew Marine FSR staff at seven locations transferred to VIKING. The transaction is expected to take place on January 2, 2020.
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S, renowned global safety products manufacturer and service provider, has announced the first flag state approval of its entire VIKING LifeCraft system, meaning the inflatable and electrically powered evacuation solution is now cleared for installation on ships around the world. VIKING LifeCraft system The stamp of approval was issued by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) on August 23, 2019. This follows earlier approval of key components of the system, such as the Survival Craft, as part of the innovative system’s development journey. Full commercial availability of the triple award-winning VIKING LifeCraft is set to follow within a few months of the breakthrough approval. The VIKING solution has been approved as a novel life-saving appliance system, a well-understood and accepted category in the maritime industry. The novel life-saving appliance designation reflects the dual nature of the VIKING LifeCraft system, which breaks the mold by making it possible to replace current lifeboat and life-raft evacuation options with a superior, hybrid solution. Life-saving appliance system This is the first time a complete, and completely innovative, evacuation solution has fallen under this category ”The LifeCraft system goes far beyond the capabilities of existing evacuation solutions and I am very proud of my team and our achievements,” says VIKING CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. While the VIKING LifeCraft system is a completely new and innovative product, it is based on well-proven technologies and extensive series of tests. And, while most maritime safety products and systems that achieved novel life-saving appliance approvals to date have been adaptations or variations of conventional life-saving appliances, this is the first time a complete, and completely innovative, evacuation solution has fallen under this category. Innovative design and technology integration “Everyone in the industry knows that novel life-saving equipment requires strict alternative design studies and documentation that can show their superiority to existing life-saving appliances,” said Niels Fraende, Vice President of Sales – Cruise & LifeCraft, at VIKING, adding “We’ve certainly gone the distance with the new system, setting new standards for our design and testing activities throughout the process.” The LifeCraft system has a capacity to save 812 people and consists of two main elements: Inflatable VIKING LifeCraft survival crafts, and a fully self-contained stowage and launching appliance that can either be placed on deck or built into the ship’s side. Highly maneuverable survival crafts With four independent electric engines at its corners, each survival craft is highly maneuverable Every system is equipped with four survival crafts holding 203 persons each. With four independent electric engines at its corners, each survival craft is highly maneuverable and its ability to quickly turn 360 degrees is unmatched by conventional motor-propelled survival crafts. The design feature is just one of many innovations that showcase how the LifeCraft system exceeds the capabilities of existing evacuation solutions. Maritime and offshore safety expert “We expected the final approval process to go every bit as smoothly as the previous novel life-saving approval, and it did,” says VIKING CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen, adding “And this achievement comes at a perfect time, considering the amount of interest cruise ship-owners are showing in getting this new evacuation solution installed and operational." "Now they can take their plans for incorporating VIKING LifeCraft into both new builds and existing ships to the next level.”
After two years of slightly declining revenue, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S is seeing growth once more. In 2018, VIKING acquired the Norwegian manufacturer of lifeboats, Norsafe AS. Adjusting for the costs of integrating this business and the impact on revenue in the last quarter of the year, the results show growth in both revenue and earnings. “We were able to deliver growth in activities and earnings in the original VIKING business, and we expect that the picture will remain the same for both areas of business in 2019," says VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen. Partnership with Norsafe VIKING has carried out a number of smaller acquisitions to build a more complete range of safety solutions Norsafe’s lifeboat sales are included in the figures for the last three months of the year and have helped VIKING surpass DKK 2 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s history. Profit before tax amounted to DKK 155.4 million on revenue of DKK 2,015.6 million, which given the one-off costs of acquisition and integration of Norsafe is considered satisfactory. In recent years, VIKING has carried out a number of smaller acquisitions to build a more complete range of safety solutions. With Norsafe, which develops and manufactures high-quality lifeboats and cranes for the global market, the company is taking yet another major step in this direction. “We have long been in the market for potential acquisitions that complement our business model and meet our customers’ needs, both in terms of a broad product range and high quality. I am completely certain that we’ve found just that in Norsafe. The product is a good fit, and our approach to quality, design, core function and global presence are all very similar. Integrating the two businesses is proceeding very well, and the logic we saw in the joining of forces is being confirmed by the response we’ve seen in the market,” said Henrik Uhd Christensen. Strong products and services The market for maritime safety equipment remains highly competitive. For several years, VIKING has successfully navigated competitive challenges by bundling the sale of new products with multi-year service concepts, such as VIKING Shipowner Agreement (SOA), which continues to show double-digit growth, excellent customer satisfaction and very high renewal rates. Henrik Uhd Christensen adds, “The maritime market will continue to be cost-focused in the future. We are in the favorable position of having good solutions to save human lives and to ensure efficient operations. Once again in 2018, our service business was able to win market share in core markets.” Personal protective equipment growth The markets in VIKING’s biggest segments – Cargo, Passenger and Offshore – have developed in very different directions. As Cargo remains fluctuating due to uncertainties related to global trade agreements, the new build market, while still under pressure, is gradually normalizing and general market conditions are stable. Meanwhile, the offshore segment is recovering after the sharp fall in oil prices in 2014. Parts of the industry are now growing, and we are seeing signs of growing demand. The cruise ship market remains extremely strong, and has been consistently so for many years running. Military markets, fire departments and other users in many countries are being supplied with custom solutions The PPE business, which includes personal protective equipment such as immersion and work suits, has shown extraordinarily strong growth. Military markets, fire departments and other professional users in many countries are being supplied with custom solutions, and the market for renting aviation suits to the offshore industry is also gaining momentum. VIKING LifeCraft passed the critical test The launch of LifeCraft, the groundbreaking evacuation solution for the cruise ship market, is imminent after years of development and a highly complex approval process. The successful completion of the critical heavy weather sea trial in November 2018 means that the hybrid between a liferaft and a lifeboat will be market-ready as soon as the final regulatory approvals are issued. “The VIKING LifeCraft is a huge project, and we knew all along that the sea trial was a crucial test. So, it’s all the more pleasing that we’ve now passed the heavy weather sea trial and can look forward to a completely new platform, which will have a big impact on our sales and, in the slightly longer term, on equipment service for cruise ships. VIKING is constantly driving innovation and improving the essential function of equipment that saves human lives,” stated Henrik Uhd Christensen. VIKING reached yet another milestone in 2018, surpassing DKK 1 billion in equity for the first time in the history of the family-owned company.
The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) has officially approved the VIKING LifeCraft™ Survival Craft as a Novel Life-Saving Appliance, meeting the requirements for replacing conventional lifeboats on passenger ships and advancing progress toward greater safety in large-scale ship evacuation emergencies. Following successful heavy weather trials in November recently, the Survival Craft component of VIKING Life-Saving Equipment’s unique hybrid lifeboat/liferaft solution, the VIKING LifeCraft™ System, has now received official approval from the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA). Maritime safety products and systems The approval, awarded in March 2019, is the culmination of a long development and approval process. But that’s not the real news. While the LifeCraft™ itself is a remarkable development in evacuation systems, the DMA approval marks the first time a truly ‘Novel’ Lifesaving Appliance (LSA) has been approved anywhere in the world. The VIKING LifeCraft™ System, on the other hand, is an entirely novel and innovative concept Prior to the VIKING LifeCraft™ Survival Craft approval, maritime safety products and systems that have achieved Novel Life-Saving Appliance approvals have been adaptations or variations of conventional life-saving appliances. The VIKING LifeCraft™ System, on the other hand, is an entirely novel and innovative concept. The solution comprises two main elements: four inflatable VIKING LifeCraft™ survival craft, each with a capacity of 203 persons, giving 812 in total, and a fully self-contained stowage and launching appliance either placed on deck or built into the ship’s side. Motor-Propelled survival craft With four independent electric engines at its corners, each Survival Craft is highly maneuverable. Its ability to rapidly turn 360 degrees on the spot, which is unmatched by conventional motor-propelled survival craft, is a critical feature for safely clearing a ship’s side in an emergency evacuation. This design is, however, just one of a long list of innovations that take the system far beyond the capabilities of existing lifeboats, marine evacuation systems or liferafts. The Danish Maritime Authority, Senior ship Surveyor, Kasper Raunskov Rasmussen sees the Survival Craft’s approval as solid proof that Danish-based maritime companies have innovation contributions to make across a wide range of aspects, not the least of which are safety and sustainability. Novel life-Saving appliance It’s also evidence of a particular innovation mindset in Denmark as a major seafaring nation" “The Danish Maritime Authority has been engaged in the approval of the LifeCraft™ since the very beginning, and we have been in close contact with VIKING and all involved parties throughout the entire approval process. We have, in particular, worked at ensuring the required and sufficient safety level and also overseen the fulfillment of the approval process for a novel life-saving appliance. However, it isn’t just the result of many years of work,” he says. “It’s also evidence of a particular innovation mindset in Denmark as a major seafaring nation. VIKING has made a significant investment that will pay off, not just for its business, but surely for the safety of passengers and crew on some of the largest ships around the world. This is a crucial step that our customers have been waiting for,” says VIKING CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. Necessary approval process “Now they can take their plans for incorporating VIKING LifeCraft™ into both newbuilds and existing ships to the next level.” The final piece of the puzzle, slated for August 2019, is Novel Lifesaving Appliance (NLSA) approval for the chute portion of the VIKING LifeCraft™ System. “The Survival Craft™ itself is something completely new and innovative, while the launching appliance is, in fact, well-proven technology,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen. “So, we expect the necessary approval process to go every bit as smoothly as this latest NLSA approval.”
The acquisition of lifeboat solution provider Norsafe is another boost for VIKING’s worldwide capabilities, ensuring a unique and unmatched product and service offering in the maritime safety industry. Maritime safety equipment manufacturer and global service provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S announces it has acquired Norsafe, the Norwegian boatbuilder whose lifeboats are used throughout the world. The acquisition is in line with VIKING’s long-running strategy of putting the customer’s needs and priorities first. Providing a complete safety offering Norsafe produces a full range of free-fall lifeboats and fast rescue boats Established in 1903, Norsafe produces a full range of free-fall lifeboats and fast rescue boats with davits and have supplied over 28,000 lifeboats to the global ship market over the years. Its advanced lifeboat products are manufactured in accordance with the latest SOLAS requirements and approved by national and certifying authorities for both ships and offshore use. VIKING consistently puts the customer first, ensuring the company’s products and services are a close fit to the market and the acquisition is yet another step forward for thousands of VIKING customers around the world, who now stand to benefit from the world’s most complete range of lifeboat, hook and davit products. And it is the strongest signal to date that VIKING is firmly committed to provide a complete safety offering that also includes the best range of lifeboat products and services – a focus that initially saw VIKING acquire the company behind the innovative and now widely installed Nadiro lifeboat Drop-in-BallTM hook, now known as VIKING Nadiro. Sharing virtually identical missions The synergies behind Norsafe’s entry into the VIKING group are plain to see, and not just because both companies are Scandinavian-based. In fact, they share virtually identical missions, both aiming to keep people safe and their respective markets through constant innovation. “This is a very close operational and cultural fit,” commented VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen. “Like VIKING, Norsafe has been family-owned for generations, which creates strong and lasting relationships with customers – and it places the same emphasis on quality, on the use of advanced materials and on technological innovation as we do.” With the Norwegian manufacturer’s 24/7 service network providing lifeboat maintenance from over 300 ports worldwide, the Norsafe acquisition adds further fuel to VIKING’s focus on answering new demands for full-scope solutions by providing the world’s most comprehensive safety solutions, encompassing everything from products and services – including long term Shipowner Agreements - to design, installation and training. Compelling lifeboat solutions Adding Norsafe’s current network to VIKING’s extends our already impressive global reach" And VIKING expects new efficiencies to be won not just from integrating the two companies’ product lines and widening customer choice, but also from leveraging complementary supply chain and production capabilities. “Adding Norsafe’s current network to VIKING’s extends our already impressive global reach,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen. “And on the training side, with Norsafe’s specialized centers in Norway and Greece offering product and STCW courses, VIKING’s training arm will also receive a boost to its ability to help vessel and offshore asset owners manage crew competencies.” Norsafe’s CEO, Dag Songedal, is looking forward to becoming part of the VIKING group. “Under the VIKING umbrella, we are creating a more robust and more capable business model that will ensure we can continue to advance our ability to protect people at sea with compelling lifeboat solutions. The safety equipment industry is consolidating to offer shipowners and offshore asset owners greater economies and efficiencies of scale.”
When the customer’s fleet has a large number of vessels, including some of the world’s biggest container ships, and they operate some 200 shipping routes to visit almost all of the important commercial ports, it’s the big picture that really counts. Scalability, cost-efficiency, time savings, and risk reduction – these are key parameters that help French-based container transportation and shipping giant CMA CGM keep its position in the top rank of a highly competitive industry. Safety equipment purchase and maintenance receives more attention than its relatively minor position in the overall CMA CGM operations budget might indicate. That’s because the company has long emphasized safety, in all its forms, as a crucial factor for commercial success and as part of its corporate values. In fact, CMA CGM has stated that it prioritizes leadership in “safety and security issues”, adopting the highest standards and taking a proactive approach as a matter of principle. expert care of safety equipment Managing high levels of emergency preparedness in an efficient manner is key to any safety strategy for fleets No effort is too great in achieving and maintaining this leadership position. Under the umbrella of its ‘Safety First’ corporate-wide commitment, CMA CGM’s in-house experts analyze and propose strategies and policies for the fleet to prevent accidents, collisions, pollution and other risks. Additionally, well-documented crisis procedures, regular training and infrastructure exist to help vessels cope with emergency situations on board, and all vessels are subjected to a comprehensive audit at least annually. Managing high levels of emergency preparedness in an efficient, uniform manner is key to any safety strategy for all fleets. And that’s precisely why CMA CGM has chosen to place its vessels under the expert care of safety equipment and servicing provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. onboard immersion suits Through the VIKING Shipowner Agreement program, CMA CGM vessels have access to efficient life raft and personal protective equipment (PPE) exchange and servicing. Ships can, for example, simply swap their onboard immersion suits that are due for servicing at the pier with serviced, packed and approved suits in a single, time-saving transaction. To facilitate mandatory monthly drills, unpacked training units are provided as part of the program. New equipment such as life-saving appliances (LSA) for new builds and existing vessels are also part of the agreement. Existing vessels are retrofitted with VIKING Nadiro life boat hooks and all new CMA CGM lifeboats are specified with this type of gravity-secured hook. safety equipment agreement model CMA CGM is one of over 1,000 shipowners that have adopted the VIKING safety equipment agreement model CMA CGM sees a lot of advantages entering into fleet-wide service agreements that simplify and streamline safety equipment management and has gradually expanded its contract with VIKING to encompass more and more vessels. Today, CMA CGM is one of over 1,000 shipowners that have adopted the VIKING safety equipment agreement model. And customer satisfaction with these agreements is strong: in fact, seven out of ten shipowners expand their agreements with VIKING during the contract period, and around 95 percent opt for renewal when an agreement expires. safety equipment compliance “CMA CGM has helped the industry to steer a new course in safety equipment compliance,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen, VIKING’s CEO. “Having the company on board as a customer has helped us to develop the Shipowner Agreement offering almost from the outset, ensuring the ideas and features we include in these agreements are a close match for shipowners’ evolving needs.” Managing safety equipment also has many competitive advantages. CMA CGM’ safety equipment strategy aims to: Ensure emergency-preparedness across the fleet Ensure regulatory compliancy Support its zero-detention goal Simplify administration Ensure cost predictability Eliminate out-of-date equipment Reduce equipment condemnation rates