Wärtsilä aims to become a leader in ship design – acquires global ship design group Vik-Sandvik

Wärtsilä Corporation, Stock exchange release 3 July 2008 at 09:30 UTC+2

Wärtsilä has acquired the global ship design group Vik-Sandvik, a leading independent group providing design and engineering services to ship owners and the ship building industry worldwide. The value of the acquisition is EUR 132 millions, with an additional maximum sum of EUR 38 millions to be paid based on the performance of the business over the next three years. In 2007, Vik-Sandvik’s turnover was EUR 55 millions and the profitability is on a very good level. The number of employees is 410.

This acquisition is a major step in Wärtsilä’s strategy to strengthen its position as a total solutions provider and to be the most valued partner for its customers. By combining ship design capability with its existing offering in propulsion systems and automation, Wärtsilä will be able to provide more added value to its customers, with further growth potential in new lifecycle services. Wärtsilä’s goal is to become the leading provider of ship design services in various segments.

Wärtsilä and Vik-Sandvik will hold a press conference today at 11:30 CET (12:30 EET) in Fitjar, Norway. The press conference can be participated via webcast and teleconference. Please find details at the end of the release.

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.

“From a strategic point of view, the acquisition of Vik-Sandvik is a very important step for Wärtsilä as it brings us closer to our customers, both ship owners and ship yards. We can now enter into dialogue with them at an earlier stage, when the key specifications of a vessel are decided, and this will result in us being able to offer more competitive solutions,” says Mr Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

“Through this major acquisition, we also aim to take a leading position in ship design as an independent activity. We also strongly believe that this new and innovative way of combining ship design know-how and equipment solutions will make us a stronger partner when working together with other ship designers,” adds Eskola.

“Vik-Sandvik’s excellent know-how of ship design will further expand Wärtsilä’s competitiveness. We will be able to offer our customers the best total solutions, regardless of equipment used. Our customers will have the freedom to choose the solution package that best suits their needs,” says Mr Arne Birkeland, President, Wärtsilä Norway.

“For Vik-Sandvik, this deal represents an opportunity to develop our business, in a way that meets the requirements of the market. We could have continued alone, but being a part of Wärtsilä, a leading equipment and after sales services provider with global presence, clearly has benefits. We believe this combination will create a unique and new kind of market leader”, says Mr Svein Sandvik, Managing Director, Vik-Sandvik.

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.

The company has its headquarters in Fitjar, in Western Norway, and it has operations in Norway, Poland, India, Brazil, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia and China. Vik-Sandvik has up to now been wholly owned by the Sandvik family.

Currently, Wärtsilä’s ship design operations are carried out at its German company, Wärtsilä Ship Design Germany, and future ship design services will be combined within Wärtsilä Ship Design.

Mr Arne Birkeland, 42, will be the head of the Ship Design unit. Mr Birkeland joined Wärtsilä in 2006, and currently holds several other positions within the company. Mr 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.

Picture 1
Normand Seven is an advanced offshore construction vessel powered by Wärtsilä, design Vik-Sandvik AS.
Picture 2
Gas-driven platform supply vessel Viking Energy with four Wärtsilä 6L32DF engines, design Vik-Sandvik AS
Picture 3
Mr Svein Sandvik, Managing Director, Vik-Sandvik AS and Mr Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation signed the contract.
Picture 4
From the left: Mr Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation, Mr Arne Birkeland, President, Wärtsilä Norway and Vice President, Ship Design, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation and Mr Svein Sandvik, Managing Director, Vik-Sandvik AS.


Invitation to press conference

Wärtsilä and Vik-Sandvik will hold a press conference today, July 3, 2008, at 11:30 CET (12:30 EET) at Vik-Sandvik’s office in Fitjar, Norway, address Vik·Sandvik AS, N-5419 Fitjar, Norway.

The conference can be viewed via webcast on the Internet at the following addresses:


Today’s press conference can also be accessed by teleconference. To participate in the teleconference, please call: +44 (0)20 7162 0025 and enter the Conference ID: 801873.

If you want to ask questions during the teleconference, press the 1-key to reach the conference operator. The operator will then ask you to repeat the Conference ID, following which the line will be opened to allow you to ask questions. If you wish to speak to the operator during the conference, press the 0-key and the conference secretary will answer.

An on-demand version of the conference will be available on the company website, www.wartsila.com, later the same day.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Jaakko Eskola
Group Vice President
Wärtsilä Ship Power
Tel: +358-107095634

Mr Arne Birkeland
Wärtsilä Norway AS
Vice President
Ship Power, Ship Design
Tel: +47-53422971

Ms Tuula Franck
Press Manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Tel: +358-400267555

Ms Gro Fadnes
Wärtsilä Norway AS
Tel: +47-99539472

Wärtsilä in brief

Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 17,000 professionals manning 160 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.