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    IHC Merwede acquires The Engineering Business

    News // March 11, 2008

    IHC Merwede in The Netherlands has acquired specialist design, engineering and construction company The Engineering Business (EB).

    The company is based in Riding Mill, Northumberland, UK, and is dubbed the fastest growing company in the north east of England.

    "The deal is clear recognition of EB’s world class and innovative engineering skills, and will bring significant benefits for IHC Merwede, EB and the north east of England.  EB will now trade as IHC The Engineering Business," said the companies in a statement.

    EB was founded in April 1997 by a four-man team of engineers led by managing director, Dr Tony Trapp. Today EB is a team of 150 people (predominantly graduate professional engineers) and has a current order book exceeding £60 million to be delivered to the offshore industry over the course of the next three years.

    EB specialises in designing, building and supplying, elegant engineering solutions for the offshore oil and gas, submarine telecom, defence and offshore renewables industries. 

    IHC Merwede is world market leader in the construction of specialist dredging equipment and complex custom-built offshore vessels. The clients of IHC Merwede include major dredging companies, oil and gas exploration groups, offshore contractors and government authorities. The company has a staff of approximately 2,200 at locations in Holland, China, Houston, India, the Middle East, Russia and Singapore and like EB focuses on providing innovative, high quality products to its customers.

    “This is a great deal on so many fronts,” says Govert Hamers, President IHC Merwede. “EB delivers high quality bespoke vessel equipment. IHC Merwede produces world class specialist vessels. Bringing the two companies together is a perfect match strategically and culturally and means that we can provide fully integrated vessels with state of the art technology from a single supplier. This dramatically widens the market potential for IHC Merwede”.

    Tony Trapp added: "EB can continue its rapid growth, providing long term security for the dynamic staff team with significant benefits for the north east of England, home to a highly talented supply chain."

    "Under the IHC Merwede banner, EB is assured of an exciting, creative and rewarding future. Our team will be strengthened with IHC Merwede board members and we are looking forward to working within the IHC Merwede Group in the coming months and years."

    "We are delighted that thanks to an internal share option scheme set up some time ago, 70 of our team – the people who have been loyal to EB over a number of years – will also gain financially from this deal, sharing 20 per cent of the proceeds. We could not have achieved what we have done without their input, and it is a real pleasure that they gain substantial benefit from the sale of the company.”

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