The acquisition will, it is claimed, significantly enhance the success and capabilities of both organisations. For ClassNK, which has worked with NAPA for nearly 10 years, the landmark deal is a chance to expand and improve the wide range of services it offers to ship owners and shipyards, while also providing NAPA with the support to accelerate expansion of existing operations and access new markets.
ClassNK, which provides safety and certification services for more than 8,500 vessels representing more than 20% of the world’s merchant fleet, and NAPA, whose software is utilised by shipyards designing over 90 % of the world’s newbuilds and by major ship owners, said the deal was a reflection of the growing importance of software technology in improving ship design and operational efficiency.
Yasushi Nakamura, ClassNK Executive Vice President, said: “For both shipyards and ship owners, 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.
Juha Heikinheimo, President of NAPA Group, added: “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.”
The acquisition is the culmination of collaboration between ClassNK and NAPA over many years, the most recent of which being the development of operation optimisation software in 2012, ClassNK-NAPA GREEN.