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Record acquisition for Palfinger

Crane and access manufacturer Palfinger says that it intends to acquire 100 percent of the shares in the Harding Group from Norwegian private equity fund Herkules Capital.

Harding is a leading supplier of lifesaving equipment and services for maritime installations and ships. The move will provide Palfinger with new products for its marine division and add to its international service network.

The acquisition has been approved by the Palfinger board and is subject to the positive outcome of the due diligence audit and final negotiations, if all goes well the deal will take place in a matter of weeks.

Harding is based in Seimsfoss, Norway, with operations in 16 countries, around half of its revenues are derived from support services, its main products are lifeboats, rescue boats and davits. Key market sectors include oil and drilling companies as well as shipyards for deep-sea vessels, tankers, container ships and passenger ships.

The Harding Group was created in 2013 when Herkules acquired Schat-Harding and Noreq and merged the two under the Harding brand. The company has around 800 employees with revenues last year of €140 million.

Palfinger chief executive Herbert Ortner said: “With Harding, both the portfolio and the service network offer numerous synergies and there is hardly any overlap. Together, we will become the market leader in lifesaving equipment. Due to the excellent structure of Harding’s service business, Palfinger Marine will be less dependent on the oil price and investment propensity of the oil industry”.

Palfinger Marine supplies articulating marine cranes, deck equipment and handling solutions including Dreggen and Norwegian Deck Machinery. The company already operates in Norway, but its service business for marine solutions is not as strong as it could be.

This will be Palfinger’s largest ever acquisition and will double its marine division to a business with revenues of €300 million or over 20 percent to the group revenues.


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