Vector joins forces with Icarus

Herstal, Belgium and Drammen, Norway, 21st May 2007:
Vector International is acquiring the Belgian company Icarus, a leading specialist provider of piping materials and valves to the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical industries.

Icarus focuses on piping and valves for extreme environments and service conditions. Through close relationships with large as well as small niche manufacturers in Europe and Asia, combined with detailed know-how of market demands, the company offers tailor-made solutions to the customers. Icarus has a particularly strong position in Southern Europe, the French-speaking parts of Africa, the UK sector of the North Sea and Asia.

Vector International is a recognized global supplier of compact connection and sealing technology solutions for piping, vessel and pressure containment, mainly to the petroleum, processing and chemical industries. Vector’s major markets are Northern Europe, North America and Asia.

Icarus has achieved significant growth over the past years, and revenues are expected to surpass EURO 65 million in 2007. Both Icarus and Vector have ambitions to expand geographically as well as into new product segments and industries. The parties have today reached a final agreement that Vector shall acquire Icarus.

“Icarus has been a customer of Vector for several years, and welcomes the opportunity to be an integrated part of the Vector group. This will enable us to provide Vector’s leak free and maintenance free compact flanges and clamp connectors as part of our tailor-made solutions. In return we will provide Vector with a strong commercial team and technical know-how of complementing products” says Leopold Thise of Icarus.

Jostein Ueland, CEO of Vector, states: “We are impressed with Icarus strong track record and reputation in the market. Icarus is highly complementary to Vector, both in terms of product range and geographical presence. By joining forces we will be in a position to strengthen our position in existing markets as well as expand into new geographic markets and industries. We expect substantial synergies through joint prospecting and cross sale of products”.

Icarus will form a separate business unit within the Vector group, and will continue to be under the leadership of Leopold Thise and Andy Michiels, who will assume the position as Group Director responsible for Marketing and Sales. Icarus is today owned by Thise and Michiels. Vector is owned by funds advised by the Norwegian private equity firms HitecVision Private Equity and Verdane Capital, and the management. Following the transaction the Icarus management will become shareholders in Vector.

About Icarus SA
Icarus SA was founded in 1985, and is a leading specialist supplier of piping materials and valves to the oil, petrochemical and chemical industries. The products are typically used under extreme conditions, such as corrosive and abrasive environments, high pressure, and under high and low temperatures. Icarus has a blue-chip customer base encompassing the world’s leading oil and oil service companies, engineering companies and process equipment manufacturers. Its main markets are Southern Europe, Western Africa. The company is located in Herstal, Belgium, and employs about 120 people.