The Ulstein Group to Take Majority Stake in Sea of Solutions

A letter of intent was signed on the 5th of September 2007, in respect of the contemplated acquisition of a majority stake by the Ulstein Group in Netherlands based Sea of Solutions as per January 2008. The deal is, amongst others, subject to a positive outcome of the Due Diligence process.

Both Ulstein and Sea of Solutions enjoy a solid and leading standing in the international offshore industries and are renowned for their innovative ship design concepts.

"We see many similarities between Sea of Solutions and the Ulstein Group. As innovators, both companies have spent time learning to think outside the box with regard to design and development. It will thus be exciting to see the outcome of two such innovative companies linking up," says managing director Tore Ulstein of Ulstein International.

Bob Rietveldt, commercial director of Sea of Solutions, is absolutely certain that joining the Ulstein group allows Sea of Solutions to grow, "As we will be able to provide our customers with a broader scope of services."

"Sea of Solutions designs ships in heavy offshore, which will extend the product portfolio of Ulstein. The vessels are mainly designed for deepwater operations, being it drilling, pipelay or heavy lift operations. These are huge construction ships, and Sea of Solutions has built up a solid reputation in this segment," says Tore Ulstein.

The Ulstein Group and Sea of Solutions are both part of strong national maritime clusters: Ulstein at Sunnmore, Norway, and Sea of Solutions in the Dutch Maritime cluster.

"Both companies experience the benefits of being part of a cluster. It boosts our competitive edge, and collaboration between companies from two different clusters will yield even greater benefits. We both operate in the offshore segment and have acquired major know-how in our respective fields of offshore expertise. Consequently, we can learn much from each other," continues Bob Rietveldt.

Sea of Solutions is a young, dynamic company developing projects for operators, contractors and ship owners in the exploration, construction and production market, as well as the maritime transport market. It provides products and services on an independent and confidential basis. Beside innovative designs for newbuild vessels, the company is actively involved in upgrade and conversion projects for existing offshore vessels.

Sea of Solutions was established in 2001 and now has 12 employees. If the contemplated transaction is effectuated, the name of the new company will be Ulstein Sea of Solutions.

The Ulstein Group celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2007. Over the years the company has grown into a pioneering enterprise developing state-of-the-art offshore vessels. Today the company stands as a trendsetter within ship design, shipbuilding and electrical and control systems. A good example is the ULSTEIN X-BOW® - a revolution in ship design. The company currently has approximately 700 employees in seven countries.