NOSKE-KAESER Maritime Solutions GmbH and its international subsidiaries are starting the year 2018 with confidence following the recent takeover by the French ENGIE Group. Under the umbrella of the group’s subsidiary ENGIE Axima, the Hamburg-based developer of air-conditioning, refrigeration and fire-extinguishing systems for shipping will invest more heavily in solutions for growth areas. In addition to its traditional core business in the maritime sector NOSKE-KAESER’s future investments will target cruise ships and offshore wind farms.
Following the signing of the purchase agreement on 7th November and the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office on 27th November, the takeover of NOSKE-KAESER Maritime Solutions GmbH by the ENGIE Group has now also been formally completed. The Hamburg head office and its subsidiaries in Australia, India, Malaysia and Turkey are now part of ENGIE Axima, headquartered in Paris, which is responsible for the Group’s global shipping and oil & gas activities.
For more than 135 years, NOSKE-KAESER has been developing innovative solutions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for marine vessels. The company, which from the 1970s onwards belonged to the Hamburg-based shipyard Blohm+Voss for a long time, has since then continuously expanded its service portfolio. Today it also offers systems for refrigeration, fire extinguishing technology, piping technology, electrical engineering as well as systems against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards (CBRN protection).
Starting in 2007, NOSKE-KAESER expanded abroad and founded its own subsidiaries and exclusive partnerships worldwide. Today, the company is one of the few companies developing air conditioning, refrigeration and fire protection systems especially for offshore platforms. The latest products also include the innovative CBRNflex3600 protection system, which protects military and civil vessels against attacks and various types of warfare agents.
“The acquisition of NOSKE-KAESER allows ENGIE Axima to further strengthen its position in the Cruise & Ferries, Oil & Gas and Marine segments. In addition, the acquisition enables us to tap into new markets such as offshore wind energy and the global expansion of our installation and service business from our two strong home locations in France and Germany”, emphasizes Philippe Le Berre, Managing Director Marine and Oil & Gas at ENGIE Axima.
ENGIE is globally active in the fields of power generation, natural gas supply and energy services. The group was formed by the merger of the French companies Suez and Gaz de France (GDF) in 2008 and was renamed ENGIE in 2015. With revenues of EUR 66.6 billion and EBITDA of EUR 10.7 billion, ENGIE is one of the largest European energy providers. The subsidiary ENGIE Axima is part of the Energy Services Division and is the market leader in the development of air-conditioning, cooling and fire extinguishing systems in France.
With the acquisition of the company by ENGIE Axima, the successful restructuring of NOSKE-KAESER Maritime Solutions is completed. The reorganisation followed the insolvency of the former NOSKE-KAESER Group in 2009. Previously, the Container Services division had already been sold to management in 2015 and the Rail and Vehicle Air Conditioning division to Indian Lloyd Electric & Engineering Ltd. in 2016.
For Jürgen Matthes, Managing Director of NOSKE-KAESER Maritime Solutions, and the approximately 200 employees, of whom 165 are based in Hamburg, the merger paves the way to a promising future after restructuring and a successful existence on the market. “The products of NOSKE-KAESER and ENGIE Axima complement each other excellently. We will be successful in the market for ship and offshore systems with efficient system solutions and significantly increased production numbers. I am very pleased that our joint efforts with insolvency administrator Jan H. Wilhelm in recent years and the employees’ belief in a common future are now paying off.”
Matthes also sees growth potential in the service business area. In addition to the 24-hour service hotline and the rapid availability of spare parts from the central warehouse in Hamburg, the company will also benefit from ENGIE’s global network. Therefore customers will be assisted even faster by trained service technicians on site if required. This applies in particular to the lucrative segment of cruise liners, in which the fastest service even in exotic locations is indispensable.
One of the largest orders for NOSKE-KAESER came from the Australian Navy at the end of 2016, ordering high-performance air-conditioning systems for its eight existing frigates to operate under tropical conditions. In-house innovations in this field are also becoming increasingly important for submarines and surface vessels of the German and other international naval forces, as their fields of operation are expanding globally.
In the meantime, Jürgen Matthes and his team are already working on the next generation of air-conditioning solutions: “For environmental reasons some of the refrigerants used so far will no longer be used in the future. In the long term, it is therefore essential to develop a new cooling technology. And while steel and aluminum still dominate the construction of pipelines today, glass fibre or carbon fibre will increasingly be used in the future, due to the considerably less weight of these materials.”
Therefore the prospects are bright that innovative solutions from Germany along with French savoir-vivre will continue to provide excellent climate and maximum safety on board worldwide.