Norway’s Wilhelmsen group is beefing up its ship services operations with the takeover of cargo hold cleaning specialist Stromme.

The German firm was the first such company in the world when it was founded in 1971.

Owner Seven Seas, a Norwegian maritime supplier, has agreed to sell 100% of Stromme for an undisclosed price.

The deal includes operations in Germany and Singapore.

Stromme will transfer all of its staff, business and assets to Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS).

The Stromme name will survive, however.

Wilhelmsen said that combining Stromme’s “strong knowledge, experience and ways of working” with its own global maritime network will allow a better service for clients.

Completion of the transaction is planned for the third quarter of 2022.

Wilhelmsen pledged to continue to invest in and build on its current and future cargo hold cleaning business.

Leading position

“Stromme was the first specialised cargo hold cleaning company, and their leading position in the marketplace is a solid proof of what this team has built," said WSS president Kjell Andre Engen.

“We want to strengthen and broaden our offering to customers, making Stromme a really good match within cargo hold cleaning, so we are really looking forward to completing this transaction.”

WSS is active in 2,000 ports in more than 100 countries.

“At Seven Seas, we decided to divest Stromme, as it was not core business, and we chose WSS as the best possible owner for the business to continue its positive path,” said Seven Seas chief executive Soren Norgard.

Stromme general manager Ane Fosseng added: “Coming from a small and agile organisation, we have had the opportunity to take fast decisions and to rapidly change to key customers’ requirements and put focus where needed.”

In early June, Wilhelmsen took its shareholding in supply company NorSea up to 99% after exercising a share purchase option, targeting expansion in offshore and renewables markets.