Wartsila has acquired the global ship design group Vik-Sandvik, a leading independent group providing design and engineering services to ship owners and the ship building industry worldwide. The value of the acquisition is EUR 132 millions, with an additional maximum sum of EUR 38 millions to be paid based on the performance of the business over the next three years. In 2007, Vik-Sandvik's turnover was EUR 55 millions and the profitability is on a very good level. The number of employees is 410.

This acquisition is a major step in Wartsila's strategy to strengthen its position as a total solutions provider and to be the most valued partner for its customers. By combining ship design capability with its existing offering in propulsion systems and automation, Wartsila will be able to provide more added value to its customers, with further growth potential in new lifecycle services. Wartsila's goal is to become the leading provider of ship design services in various segments.

Wartsila and Vik-Sandvik will hold a press conference today at 11:30 CET (12:30 EET) in Fitjar, Norway. The press conference can be participated via webcast and teleconference. Please find details at the end of the release.

The role of ship design is becoming more and more important due to higher performance requirements, more sophisticated systems, and increased integration onboard most vessels. Also, the environmental and emission regulations regarding NOx and CO2 are becoming increasingly stringent. Through this acquisition, Wartsila can offer competitive solutions that will lead to better total efficiency, improved environmental performance, and reduced life cycle costs for its customers.

"From a strategic point of view, the acquisition of Vik-Sandvik is a very important step for Wartsila as it brings us closer to our customers, both ship owners and ship yards. We can now enter into dialogue with them at an earlier stage, when the key specifications of a vessel are decided, and this will result in us being able to offer more competitive solutions," says Mr Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wartsila Ship Power.

"Through this major acquisition, we also aim to take a leading position in ship design as an independent activity. We also strongly believe that this new and innovative way of combining ship design know-how and equipment solutions will make us a stronger partner when working together with other ship designers," adds Eskola.

"Vik-Sandvik's excellent know-how of ship design will further expand Wartsila's competitiveness. We will be able to offer our customers the best total solutions, regardless of equipment used. Our customers will have the freedom to choose the solution package that best suits their needs," says Mr Arne Birkeland, President, Wartsila Norway.

"For Vik-Sandvik, this deal represents an opportunity to develop our business, in a way that meets the requirements of the market. We could have continued alone, but being a part of Wartsila, a leading equipment and after sales services provider with global presence, clearly has benefits. We believe this combination will create a unique and new kind of market leader," says Mr Svein Sandvik, Managing Director, Vik-Sandvik.

Vik-Sandvik will be integrated into Wartsila Ship Design within Ship Power. All personnel - including the management - will continue as Wartsila employees.

The acquisition is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, which are expected during the third quarter of 2008.

Vik-Sandvik specializes in the design of high-end offshore vessels, as well as product and chemical tankers and more specialized vessels. It has for decades been recognised in the offshore market for its innovative designs and has achieved a strong global market position. As a part of Wartsila, the company has great potential for strong global growth and expansion into new market segments.

The company has its headquarters in Fitjar, in Western Norway, and it has operations in Norway, Poland, India, Brazil, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia and China. Vik-Sandvik has up to now been wholly owned by the Sandvik family.

Currently, Wartsila's ship design operations are carried out at its German company, Wartsila Ship Design Germany, and future ship design services will be combined within Wartsila Ship Design.

Mr Arne Birkeland, 42, will be the head of the Ship Design unit. Mr Birkeland joined Wartsila in 2006, and currently holds several other positions within the company. Mr Birkeland is the President of Wartsila Norway AS, a Vice President of Wartsila Ship Power Technology, and a member of the Ship Power Management team.