Para­mount ac­quires ma­jor­ity stake in Nau­tic Africa


Para­mount Group, Africa’s largest pri­vately- owned de­fence and aero­space firm, has ac­quired a ma­jor­ity (51 per cent) stake in Cape Town­based Nau­tic Africa, one of the con­ti­nent’s lead­ing spe­cial­ist ship­build­ing and mar­itime so­lu­tions com­pa­nies.

The deal comes amid a grow­ing need to pro­tect and se­cure Africa’s coast­lines, in­clud­ing oil pipe­lines, ship­ping lanes, tourist ar­eas and na­tional bor­ders. The merger of the two com­pa­nies will see Nau­tic Africa dou­ble its staff em­ploy­ment to 200 by 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the Western Cape pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, boat build­ing is a com­pet­i­tive and fast-grow­ing sec­tor of the pro­vin­cial econ­omy. It gen­er­ates more than R1 bil­lion for the re­gion’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct each year and cre­ates em­ploy­ment for more than 2,500 res­i­dents.

Ivor Ichikowitz, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Para­mount Group, said: “We are com­mit­ted to the de­vel­op­ment of the South African ship­build­ing in­dus­try and putting Africans at the heart of it.

“Our ac­qui­si­tion of Nau­tic Africa sig­nals our com­mit­ment to grow­ing an in­no­va­tive ship­build­ing in­dus­try and de­liv­er­ing 21st-cen­tury so­lu­tions to pro­tect African as­sets.”

He said Nau­tic’s mod­ern high-speed ves­sels “are not only vi­tal strate­gic and lo­gis­ti­cal as­sets for African coun­tries — they are also key tools for solv­ing se­cu­rity chal­lenges that are shared by much of Latin Amer­ica, south Asia and the Mid­dle East”.

Nau­tic was re­cently awarded con­tracts worth more than R600 mil­lion to build seven “multi-role” pa­trol ves­sels for West African clients. The 35-me­tre “fast ves­sels” will be the first in their class to be de­signed and built in South Africa.

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