Belfast-based Survitec Group doubles marine business with Norwegian acquisition

Dunmurry and London-based Survitec Group has doubled its global marine business with a Norwegian acquisition. Pictured are Steve Unger, group treasurer, Survitec Group, Chris Bates, chief financial officer, Survitec Group and Graeme MacLaughlin, relationship director, Barclays
Gareth McKeown

A BELFAST-based marine survival firm has doubled its global business with the acquisition of a Norwegian company.

Headquartered in Dunmurry Survitec Group, a market-leader in marine life-saving equipment and solutions, has acquired the safety businesses of Norway-based firm, Wilhelmsen in a deal believed to be one of the largest and most complex deals achieved in Northern Ireland within recent years.

Wilhelmsen operations include a successful life raft rental and fire suppression equipment and servicing business centred out of Norway, but located across the globe.

The deal, supported through £20 million of capital from Barclays, is seen as a positive indicator of Northern Ireland's ongoing economic potential in an international market.

As well as assisting with the complex refinancing, Barclays has also been appointed as the Survitec Group operational banking partner going forward.

Chief financial officer for Survitec Group said the The Wilhelmsen acquisition was a "major step" for the company, which an annual turnover approaching £450 million and an extensive footprint around the world.

Survitec began operations in Dunmurry in 1952 as RFD Ltd and its finance headquarters remain local, with manufacturing operations both in the north and in England, alongside a comprehensive network of over 80 service centres in 30 countries and a broad base of blue chip customers

The group has an extensive manufacturing and testing facility in Dunmurry, which is the group's centre of excellence for marine and aviation survival solutions and the global leader in the marine and offshore, oil and gas sectors.

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