08 Jun 14. Saab looks to increase stake in Akaer. Swedish aerospace and defence group Saab could increase its stake in Brazilian aeronautical company Akaer to 40%, Akaer President Cesar Augusto da Silva confirmed to IHS Jane’s on 3 June. Saab, which recently won a bid to supply 36 Saab JAS 39 Gripen NG fighter jets to Brazil, signed a memorandum of understanding with Akaer in 2008 and made a subsequent investment of resources in Akaer equivalent to a 15% involvement in May 2012. The two companies are currently negotiating the conversion of this investment into an equity holding as Saab positions itself to meet the industrial participation requirements of the Gripen deal. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Jun 14. Supacat has acquired MDS Marine as the latest step in the company’s strategy to expand its marine and renewable energy business. Last year at Seawork International Supacat launched its revolutionary Supacat Multi-purpose Vessel 24 (SMV 24), which has since secured James Fisher Marine Services as launch customer with the first vessel making its maiden charter in May. The Supacat Launch & Recovery System developed for the RNLI’s new Shannon Class Lifeboat provided the company’s springboard into marine engineering.
“Acquiring MDS Marine demonstrates Supacat’s commitment to the marine sector and forms part of our continuing diversification strategy to expand our marine business further through appropriate teaming agreements, joint ventures or acquisitions”, said Nick Ames, Managing Director of Supacat.
Hampshire UK based MDS Marine gives Supacat access to the inboard propulsion market for powering ribs, tenders, utility vessels and super yachts, where MDS provides sales, installation and support services for Marinediesel Sweden and manufacturers, such as Konrad. Marinediesel’s VGT engines are used worldwide in the commercial, leisure and military markets, the latter offering synergies with Supacat’s core defence business in high mobility military vehicles. Supacat has appointed former Managing Director of Southboats, Jeremy Paul, as General Manager of MDS Marine, which retains its brand as part of the Supacat Marine Business within the Supacat group of companies.
Jeremy Paul commented, “With MDS Marine we aim to expand our share of the growing commercial and leisure market for diesel engines and focus on building up the after sales, support and spares side of the business to consolidate MDS’s existing customer base and provide a firm foundation for future growth”.
Supacat and MDS Marine are exhibiting on Stand C27 at Seawork International.
12 Jun 14. WS Atkins, the 76-year-old engineering consultant that redesigned London’s Trafalgar Square, reported a 7 per cent rise in underlying profits on Thursday, boosted by rail, defence and energy work. Uwe Krueger, chief executive, said the group, which is also working on the design of the Dubai Opera House, posted overall revenue of £1.75bn for the 12 months to March 31, up 2.6 per cent on last year. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 7.3 per cent to £106.4m. “The speed boats of our business are defence, energy, aerospace and the Asia-Pacific region and these are exactly the areas that are leading the growth,” Mr Krueger said. The company, which is aiming to reduce its exposure to Britain which accounts for roughly half of group revenues, is working on key projects including the architectural design for London’s Crossrail train stations, as well as feasibility studies for the proposed High Speed 2 train service. Although the company is using design centres in India to support work in Britain and Europe, it is also planning to recruit at least another 600 staff in the UK this year, taking total employees to 18,300 worldwide. Atkins has also been winning more work in the Middle East, including contracts on Qatar’s Doha metro and the £20bn Barakah Nuclear Programme through a joint venture. It is also planning to expand in Vietnam and China. It raised the full-year dividend payout by