Since new owners took over Schat-Harding and Noreq in June, Styrk Bekkenes, CEO of Noreq, has been appointed CEO of Harding – described as a new and  larger company for the development and production of life-saving equipment.

Harding will have more than 900 employees in 30 different locations worldwide. Its head office will be at Seimsfoss in Kvinnherad, Norway.

The new owners, backed by the investment fund Herkules, have set as their goal to continue to develop the best life-saving equipment from Schat-Harding and Noreq. The objective is to create an even better and more robust equipment manufacturer in a market that demands more and more as regards product quality, service and costs, the company said in a prepared statement.

“We would like to mention Bekkenes's in-depth knowledge of the life-saving industry, and his ability to inspire and motivate everyone in the organization. We believe Bekkenes is the right person to lead the new company and to make the most of the opportunities that will now arise,” said Kristian Eikre, board member of the company and partner in Herkules Capital AS.

The requirements for life-saving equipment are changing, and the “new” Harding will focus in particular on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“'We want to further develop Harding's leading position there and we want to offer the best solutions now that extensive replacement of freefall lifeboats is planned in the next few years. We will continue to be the largest and best supplier of service and life-saving equipment, while at the same time investing even more in these fields in other parts of the world, Asia in particular,” Bekkenes commented. Thirty-nine years old, Bekkenes founded Noreq and has been CEO since start-up in 2006.