ClassNK Acquires Canada’s Helm Operations

15 July, 2014 – ClassNK today announced the acquisition of Victoria, Canada-based maritime software company Helm Operations. The deal was hailed by both parties as two world-class companies joining forces to improve safety and operational efficiency in the marine industry, while greatly enhancing the success and capabilities of both organizations.

Ron deBruyne CEO and Founder of Helm Operations

Tokyo-based ClassNK is one of the world’s largest classification societies, providing safety and certification services for more than 8,600 ships, representing about 20% of the global merchant fleet. Founded in 1999, Helm Operations has grown to become a leading provider of manning, maintenance, dispatch, and HSQE software to the workboat and offshore industries, and Helm software is currently used on some 1,000 vessels belonging to some of the most respected workboat companies in the world, including SVITZER, Seaspan, Blessey Marine and Florida Marine Transporters.

“This is a very exciting day for Helm,” said Ron deBruyne, CEO and Founder of Helm Operations. “Since our founding, Helm has always been about providing great software to the maritime industry. We’ve been able leverage the incredibly talented IT community here in Victoria, which has also drawn the attention of global leaders like Amazon, and Ebay among others, and combine that with the know-how and experience from the workboat industry to create intuitive, user-friendly systems that contribute directly to improving the safety, efficiency, and profitability of workboat companies.

Yasushi Nakamura Representative Director and Executive Vice President of ClassNK

In ClassNK, we’ve found a partner who shares our vision of providing the maritime and offshore support sectors with the best software possible, and we’re incredibly honored and excited by the potential for new developments that this new partnership will create. By working together, we’re convinced we can create a world-class software platform for the global maritime industry.”

Yasushi Nakamura, Representative Director and Executive Vice President of ClassNK, praised the purchase, saying: “At ClassNK our mission has always been to ensure that global innovation is put to use for the benefit of the entire maritime industry. Commencing with the acquisition of NAPA earlier this year, and the acquisition of Helm now, we are bringing together a team of leading software companies from around the world in order to help achieve that goal.

We’ve witnessed the impressive growth and success of Helm’s software systems over the years, and have seen first hand the incredible value that Helm’s software provides to workboat companies. Helm CONNECT for example makes HSQE management a simple and intuitive process for owners and operators, and we’re convinced that linking maritime companies and classification on a single, easy to use platform will be a huge contribution to the maritime industry. Through this acquisition we can provide Helm with the resources and reach to even further develop their industry-leading software systems for all aspects of ship operations, and in turn make them available for everyone in the industry around the globe. We very much believe that Helm’s innovative solutions can contribute greatly to the improved safety and efficiency of shipping companies – and are excited about being able to ensure these technologies are available industry-wide.

For more information, please contact:

Rodger Banister
VP Marketing, Helm Operations
+1 250 360 1991 x113

ClassNK Executive Operations Division
+81 3 5226 2047

About Helm Operations:

Since 1999 Helm Operations (formerly Edoc Systems Group) has been developing operations software for the tug and barge and OSV industries. Helm CONNECT is the flagship product of Helm Operations. Whether it’s managing safety and compliance, preventive maintenance work, billing, or jobs, Helm CONNECT gives you the information you need to do your job. It is the workboat industry’s first app-based, web-based, workflow-based software system designed through user experience principles, which makes it intuitive for use by everyone in a workboat company, from the crew right down to the CEO.

Helm Operations works with some of the largest and most respected workboat companies in the world, including SVITZER A/S, Seaspan, SMIT (Canada), Florida Marine Transporters and Blessey Marine.

About ClassNK:

ClassNK is one of the world’s leading classification societies, dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the maritime industry, and ensuring the safety of ships, their crews, and the marine environment. With more than 8,600 vessels on its register, ClassNK provides classification and certification services to more than 20% of the world’s merchant fleet via a network of some 130 offices worldwide.