Provimar sale nears completion

John Gallagher

23-May-2007

Spanish ship supply and duty-free shop operator Provimar is to be sold to Norwegian conglomerate Eitzen Maritime Services

Principal shareholder 3i is set to sell Provimar to Eitzen Group, which has been seeking a buyer for its stake. The Oslo-based company is set to take control once due diligence has been completed, which Ravenfox.com understands will be completed by the summer. Provimar directors Juan Sunet and Werner Muhlemann will exchange their Provimar shares for holdings in the Oslo-quoted Eitzen.

Provimar, founded in 1972, recorded sales of €100m ($135m) last year and is Spain’s largest ship supply company, with a presence in 27 ports in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Uruguay and the US. Provimar has a strong presence in the Mediterranean and has established footholds in North and South America. The company enjoys a broad customer base, including the merchant fleet, the Mediterranean passenger ferry and cruise fleets as well as the fishing fleet and the Spanish and NATO navies.

Eitzen Maritime Services (EMS) CEO Annette Malm Justad said: “The acquisition means EMS is now one of the three largest global ship supply companies. Provimar is an efficient and profitable company that will complement the EMS organisation. EMS is strong in Northern Europe and Asia, while Provimar has focused on Southern Europe, and North and South America. We expect the merger of the two companies to create considerable synergies and we are happy to see Provimar management continuing with the company.”

Provimar is to be acquired at an agreed enterprise value of €31m ($41.9m).

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