Bibby Group in Ukrainian buyout
LIVERPOOL"s Bibby Line group is expanding its shipping crew management operations in Eastern Europe after the takeover of a Ukrainian firm.
Its Bibby International Services division (BIS) has bought crew manning agency MA Olevent for an undisclosed sum as part of its global expansion plans. BIS now plans to invest millions of pounds in the company, which will be renamed Bibby Ship Management (Eastern Europe), so it can take on more seafarers to deploy to ship owners and operators. BIS supplies crew members to ships worldwide.
Its managing director Martyn Howard said: ?MA Olevent has quickly established itself as a leading supplier of highly qualified, experienced seafarers in Eastern Europe.
?It offers a highly specialised crew management and recruitment service that is focused on reliability and efficiency.
?Its customer-focused strategy complements Bibby"s approach to the market and the acquisition will enable BIS to expand crew supply activities to cover Eastern Europe in addition to Western Europe, India and the Pacific Rim.?
BIS, headquartered in the Isle of Man, is also investing in a high-tech ?dynamic positioning? simulator training facility at MA Olevent"s base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
Mr Howard said: ?Bibby will be one of only a few companies to offer such sophisticated dynamic positioning training in Eastern Europe and will focus on pushing the region to the forefront of the crew supply market, providing personnel for ship owners and operators in both the merchant fleet and offshore sectors.
?We are already planning to considerably increase seafarer availability within the next two years and open satellite offices across Eastern Europe. This will help meet the challenges of a global skills shortage and support the growth of the shipping industry.?
MA Olevent was established in 2005 by owner-managers Olga Kashalaba and Alex Ershov.
Ms Kashalaba said: ?Joining Bibby will provide seafarers with new employment opportunities and the advantages of obtaining DP training within the Ukraine.
?The DP training centre is strategically located to attract seafarers from throughout Eastern Europe. Bibby"s investment will create new maritime jobs and promote significant growth.?