Class society acquires maritime software house

18 Mar 2014
The acquisition of NAPA by Class NK is concluded byTetsuya Kinoshita, executive vice president, ClassNK (top left), Yasushi Nakamura, representative director, executive vice president, ClassNK (bottom left) Juha Heikinheimo, president, NAPA Group (top right) and Markku Riipinen, chairman of the board, Napa Ltd (bottom right).

The acquisition of NAPA by Class NK is concluded byTetsuya Kinoshita, executive vice president, ClassNK (top left), Yasushi Nakamura, representative director, executive vice president, ClassNK (bottom left) Juha Heikinheimo, president, NAPA Group (top right) and Markku Riipinen, chairman of the board, Napa Ltd (bottom right).

Tokyo-based classification society ClassNK is to acquire the Finnish maritime software house NAPA, in a deal which is claimed to help improve safety and performance of the maritime industry as a whole.

The two organisations have worked closely together over the past decade, culminating with the introduction of operation optimisation software ClassNK-NAPA Green in 2012. According to NAPA, the merger will enhance the success and capabilities of both organisations, reflecting the growing importance of software in improving ship design and operational efficiency. It will allow ClassNK to expand and improve its range of services for shipowners and shipbuilders, while NAPA will receive high-level support for its plans to expand existing operations and access new markets. The two will provide a formidable combination: Class NK classes over 8,500 ships, representing some 20% of the global merchant fleet, while NAPA’s software is claimed to be used for the design of over 90% of current newbuildings.

Yasushi Nakamura, ClassNK executive vice president, said: “For both shipyards and shipowners, safety and performance have never been more important. Over the many years we have worked with NAPA, we have seen first hand the incredible benefits that ship designers and operators can achieve with innovative software solutions. From our work on ClassNK NAPA Manager to our work on ClassNK-NAPA GREEN, NAPA has shown us time and again the utmost importance they place on creating high quality, innovative tools that directly contribute to the development of the maritime industry. This gives us full confidence that the team will go on to reach even greater success with ClassNK. Moreover, as a classification society that sees safety and performance as paramount, we want to ensure that innovation in software benefits the entire maritime industry – and make new innovations available to everyone. Through this agreement we can ensure that NAPA’s ship design and operation solutions remain available to the entire maritime industry, while also providing NAPA with necessary tools and resources to further expand its innovative development work.

Napa Group president Juha Heikinheimo said: “After 25 years of growth into a company of 170 employees, with presence in nine countries, NAPA has grown into the world’s leading maritime software house. After years of organic growth, we see today’s announcement as a huge opportunity to continue to expand NAPA in a way that reflects the increasing demand for software design and operational solutions that we are seeing in the maritime market. In partnering with ClassNK over recent years, we have found it to be an organisation that understands the important opportunity that qualitative and innovative software, and global services presents to the maritime industry. Going forward together, NAPA will develop new solutions and services for the maritime industry, whilst maintaining its neutrality and confidentiality towards all stakeholders.

“Today, reducing fuel costs and attracting charterers are the predominant concerns for shipowners and operators. Through this acquisition, the development of clean-tech solutions for optimising fuel costs, planning and monitoring will be accelerated. In addition, continuously improving software solutions to enhance the safety of both merchant and passenger vessels, both at the design phase and during operation, will remain a core focus for NAPA. ClassNK’s role as a classification society will enable us to access its industry knowledge, scope and scale, as well as benefiting from its commitment to invest in software research and development. It is this that will allow NAPA’s solutions to be more widely available to the benefit of the maritime industry as a whole.”

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