Viking Life-Saving Equipment’s acquisition of Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue division creates a giant in the fire suppression business
The acquisition of Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue deal by Viking Life-Saving Equipment, which occurred 2 January 2020, is likely to create a dominant force in the marine safety sector. It follows Viking’s acquisition of Norsafe which saw Viking achieve the status as a high-quality lifeboat, rescue boat and davit original equipment manufacturer, while boosting the company’s profile as a multi-brand lifeboat service provider.
Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue division brings further strength to Viking’s portfolio and boosts its 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, widening its global 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’s chief executive officer Henrik Uhd Christensen.
He adds: “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.”
Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue provides services in more than 150 ports across 45 countries. The division offers a complete range of fire safety and rescue services, specialising 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. These capabilities, coupled with the experience of the large team of Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue technicians, will transfer to the global Viking Life-Saving Equipment group.
Following the acquisition, the Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue headquarters in Rotterdam will take on a new role as Viking’s new global Marine Fire Safety competency centre. This will be supported by a strong and growing network of servicing stations worldwide.
Like Viking, Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue operates using advanced digital planning software to streamline services and meet customer needs. Customers will have access to a portal where they can view service history, budget and planning.
Viking’s strategic decision to acquire Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue 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 supplier.
Viking and Drew Marine have been in dialogue about a potential acquisition of the Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue business since the summer of 2019. Drew Marine itself was procured by private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners in late June 2019. Drew Marine’s new chief executive officer, Frank Monteiro, set a new strategic direction for the company, focusing more explicitly on its core chemistry business and technical expertise.
Consequently, the quest for a suitable partner to take ownership of Drew Marine’s Fire Safety and Rescue division began. Drew Marine’s noted it was important to identify a partner that could be trusted to secure the business going forward, while taking good care of existing Fire Safety and Rescue customers and employees. The acquisition will see 50+ Drew Marine Fire Safety and Rescue staff at seven locations transferred to Viking.