Paramount Group has acquired a majority stake in Nautic Africa, one of the continent’s leading specialist shipbuilders, in a move that gives Paramount a key strategic maritime presence.
The landmark deal comes amid a growing need to protect and secure Africa’s coastlines, great lakes and rivers, and political and economic assets, including oil pipelines, shipping lanes, tourist areas and national borders.
Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, said: “We are committed to the development of the South African shipbuilding industry and putting Africans at the heart of it.” “Nautic’s modern high speed vessels are not only vital strategic and logistical assets for African countries – they are key tools for solving security challenges that are shared by much of Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East.”
“Combining Paramount Group’s global market reach and strong track record in Africa with the engineering and design skills of Nautic Africa we will stimulate global demand for Africa’s naval solutions,” he added.
Nautic Africa offers customized vessel solutions, specializing in high speed, ballistic protected aluminium patrol vessels ranging from 9-90metres. Due to this joint venture’s investment in research and development and commitment to growth, it is envisaged Nautic’s current workforce of 100 will double to 200 by 2015.
The speed, flexibility and multi-purpose capability of Nautic’s vessels mean they are ideal for operations to provide oil and gas security, anti-piracy protection and vital tools against illegal drug and people trafficking.
As part of today’s announcement, Paramount and Nautic are also announcing the development of a first of its kind 42m Trimaran patrol vessel. The Trimaran is being developed in direct response to an obvious need in the market for a highly efficient, sea-kindly, multi-role working platform. This is the first time in that a vessel of this nature is being designed and built in South Africa.
The Trimaran offers improved propulsive efficiency and better economy, over a much wider speed range, than the equivalent monohull, while at the same time providing a more stable work platform and a substantially more manageable working environment, in even the harshest of conditions, for the crew.
James Fisher, CEO of Nautic Africa, said: “There has never been a greater need for naval security in the waters around Africa for many reasons. New oil and gas resources are being discovered every month and those resources need to be secured. Peace of mind is a very precious thing for governments and international corporations and we’re pleased to help.
“We are driven to create and build customised vessel solutions that our clients can afford to own and operate. Nautic has always shared Paramount’s solutions-based approach and the acquisition will undoubtedly unleash many new exciting opportunities.”