Paramount Group company Nautic Africa has acquired Cape Town-based vessel builder Veecraft Marine, giving Paramount the capability to build vessels from eight to over a hundred metres in length.
The company has been completely taken over and integration is in progress, according to Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, who told journalists this morning that an official signing ceremony will be held at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition later this month.
Veecraft has 150 employees and a R250 million order book but together with Nautic the companies will have a R1 billion order book and 350 employees. Ichikowitz said the acquisition was a catalyst for the growth of the shipbuilding industry in the Cape.
Veecraft Marine has been around for 12 years and specialises in manufacturing steel and aluminium vessels for government and private clients around the globe. It offers workboats, interceptors, patrol boats, harbour boats, crew and supply vessels, ferries and hovercraft.
“The acquisition of Vee-Craft consolidates manufacturing of commercial and naval vessels in Cape Town and South Africa with compounded gains for all stakeholders,” said James Fisher CEO, Nautic Africa.
“Veecraft Marine will add to Nautic’s already strong in-house research and development capability and vessel support competencies,” particularly through Veecraft’s long-standing co-operation with world-renowned and leading vessel architects Incat Cowther in Austrialia. “Nautic’s existing clients and the more-than 100 vessels in service across the African continent will benefit from the acquisition through added value and increased service offering,” said Fisher. “We can now offer our clients more resources, a greater variety of designs and more capabilities for support.
“We are passionately committed to building a South African owned vessel building competence in Africa. This consolidation provides the impetus necessary to grow Nautic Africa, a Paramount Group company, into a more meaningful global manufacturer of quality vessels up to 120 m in length, providing the industry and country with much needed development of skills and growth in employment,” says Fisher.
Nautic Africa is 51% owned by Paramount Industrial Holdings, part of the Paramount Group. Ichikowitz said that since the acquisition of Nautic Africa last year, the company’s turnover has increased by 92% and facilities in Cape Town have expanded.
This latest acquisition is one of several Paramount has made recently. The company also announced today that it has acquired Aerosud Aerospace, Aerosud’s military business, and launched a new Robotics division with R100 million of research and development investment.