Herbert, ABS to Form JV Company

Herbert and ABS announce have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture company, Herbert-ABS Software Solutions, LLC (Herbert-ABS). Herbert-ABS will offer leading edge loading and salvage analysis software packages as well as software design tools to the maritime and offshore industries.

Herbert-ABS will own, market and support the existing suite of Herbert software products including its shipboard loading software (CargoMax), salvage response software (HECSALV), and load management software for offshore structures (LMP). Herbert-ABS will leverage the resources of ABS as well as HEC's offices in China and Europe to provide its clients worldwide service and support.

According to Keith Michel, Chairman of the HEC companies, "ABS and HEC have a rich and successful history of cooperation on research projects and ABS is a longstanding client of our software products. We look forward to taking this cooperative spirit to a new level, by working together to offer the marine and offshore industries the highest quality software products and services. This new venture company will enable us to expand the CargoMax and HECSALV product lines while providing our clients with an enhanced level of service and support through a global sales and service network."

Herbert-ABS is positioned to enhance existing products and develop new software solutions on an accelerated schedule. Development plans for 2011 include an enhanced containership stowage module, performance monitoring and optimization tools, and a load management, condition monitoring, and emergency response package for offshore vessels and structures. The latter product will be integrated into a Rapid Response and Damage Assessment (RRDA) service to be offered by ABS to the offshore industry.

"The integration between HEC's and ABS' software programs bridges the design, classification and operational management aspects of vessels and offshore units," said Christopher J. Wiernicki, President and COO of ABS. "One of Herbert-ABS's near term focus will be on finalizing a suite of products to meet the needs of the offshore industry. Given ABS' leadership position in offshore classification and HEC software development experience, the comprehensive asset management program will be an important and valuable resource to our offshore clients."

A Board of Directors representing both HEC and ABS will be established to guide the strategic direction of Herbert-ABS. The board members from ABS will be Karen Hughey – President of ABS Nautical Systems Division and Todd Grove -Chief Technology Officer of ABS. Keith Michel – Chairman of the HEC companies and Robert Tagg – President of Herbert Software Solutions, Inc. (HSSI) will represent HEC.

The experienced personnel from HSSI will transition to Herbert-ABS which will be headquartered in Alameda, California.