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European firm buys Dubai ship supplier

Dubai-based Seven Seas Shipchandlers, part of the Seven Seas Group, has been acquired by Norwegian firm Eitzen Maritime Services (EMS), with the intention of creating a global leader in ship supply.
SHIP SUPPLIES: Eitzen buys into Middle East region.
SHIP SUPPLIES: Eitzen buys into Middle East region.

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Dubai-based Seven Seas Shipchandlers, part of the Seven Seas Group, has been acquired by Norwegian firm Eitzen Maritime Services (EMS), with the intention of creating a global leader in ship supply.

EMS acquired a 100% stake in the company for US$115 million, which was financed by sellers' credit, bank financing and an equity issue, and Seven Seas will be included in EMS' accounts from the second quarter of 2008.

The acquisition, which is expected to be finalised by the third quarter of this year, will mean that the combined company will have a presence in around 60 ports and will serve over 10,000 ships worldwide.

"EMS became an industry leader in ship supply following our acquisition of Spanish Provimar last year," said Annette Malm Justad, CEO of Eitzen Maritime Services. "This time around we acquire the market leader in the most attractive shipping region outside China. We are well under way in our bid to develop a truly global footprint."

Seven Seas bases its logistics headquarters in Dubai and has extended its operations not only throughout the UAE but also in several other key ports in the region, such as Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Djibouti. It currently employs approximately 540 people and has a product range that represents many standard ship supply products - food and drink, stores, spare parts and technical equipment.

Sales this year are expected to exceed US$200 million and the operator is said to have an attractive profit margin.

EMS was formed in 2006 and offers ship supply, technical ship management, crewing of vessels and insurance brokerage. The acquisition of Spain-based Provimar Group last year meant that EMS gained a strong position on the Iberian peninsula and in the Mediterranean. It also gave the company footholds in North and South America, in addition to EMS' existing operations in Europe and Asia.

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