Vroon Acquires Viking Offshore Services

Dutch shipping company Vroon Group BV has acquired leading Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel operator Viking Offshore Services for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will see Aberdeen-based Viking Offshore renamed Vroon Offshore Services Ltd, and will create one of the largest offshore support fleets in Europe.

The existing management team at Viking Offshore will remain in place and there will be no change to any contractual relationships with customers, crews, employees or suppliers.

Viking Offshore currently operates a fleet of 31 Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels in support of the offshore oil and gas industry and has a nine-strong new-build program under way.

Vroon presently has a fleet of 21 diving support, platform supply and safety standby vessels, as part of its wider shipping portfolio, and has 13 new offshore ships on order for delivery over the next three years. All its offshore support activities are managed out of Den Helder in the Netherlands through Vroon Offshore Services B.V.

Mrs Marja Doedens, Managing Director of Vroon Offshore Services B.V., said: "Viking Offshore has established an excellent reputation for quality service delivery and it represents an ideal fit in terms of our future growth strategy. We have common objectives in terms of safety and customer satisfaction and share a vision of maintaining a pre-eminent role in our sector. We look forward to working together to share best practice and develop new commercial opportunities."

Viking Offshore Services CEO Graham Philip said: "This is an exciting move for Viking Offshore. Vroon is a dynamic international shipping company that has operated in the offshore support market for more than 40 years.

"It marks the beginning of the next stage of development for our business which has become firmly established as a leading player in its sector.

"Becoming part of a large international shipping company which has 52 offshore support vessels and 22 new builds on order will broaden our commercial offering and ensure continued quality service provision to clients.

"It will also potentially offer new opportunities for our shore-based employees and our crews."

The deal sees Viking Supply Ships AS sell its 100% shareholding in Viking Offshore Services (Holdings) Ltd, which has 650-vessel crew and 35 shore-based employees.

As Viking Offshore vessels are dry-docked they will be rebranded in Vroon's red and white colors and livery a large white V on each side of the hull. They will also be renamed, with the prefix 'VOS' replacing the existing 'Viking.'"

Vroon Group BV (Vroon) is a privately owned Dutch shipping company operating over 60 vessels with 35 new buildings under construction for delivery between 2007 and 2010. Vroon operates in six differing shipping markets. As well as its offshore support vessel activity, it operates in livestock carriers, tankers, dry cargo ships, car carriers and container carriers.

Viking Offshore Services was a wholly owned subsidiary of Viking Supply Ships A/S (VSS), which in turn is part of Kistefos A/S, a privately owned Norwegian investment company. Going forward VSS will focus its activities on the provision of AHTS and PSVs to the offshore Oil & Gas industry worldwide.

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