ON JUNE 29 the SAirRelations division of SAirGroup (formerly Swissair Group) signed a purchase agreement with the management of British-based European Rail Catering. The new acquisition will be integrated with Rail Gourmet, thereby more than doubling its revenue and increasing its European market share from 6 to 11%, according to parent SAirRelations. Formerly known as OBS Services (RG 4.97 p220), ERC has an annual turnover in excess of £40m from direct catering on 350 services a day, and the supply of food and drink to another 1000 from 36 station-based service centres throughout Britain. Rail Gourmet Chief Executive Officer Edy Fischer saw the acquisition as creating ’a powerful partnership’ of his company’s ’high-quality production and supply capabilities’ with ERC’s ’expertise and flair’ in cultivating the rail catering market. Following the acquisition of Restobel/ Restorail in March, Rail Gourmet expects revenue to grow to over SFr100m this year from the SFr33m recorded in 1996. o
The Netherlands-based Eagle-Access BV is developing its first offshore access system prototype for the transfer of personnel and cargo.Source: Eagle-Access BVThe Eagle-Access System prototype is currently being prepared for production, while the sea trials are scheduled for September 2019.According to the Dutch company, the new access system is completely electrically powered which means large hydraulic power packs and generators are unnecessary, thus making the construction costs lower and operating costs considerably reduced.The installation on the deck of the maintenance vessels is also smaller, resulting in the minimum limitation of deck use, Eagle-Access said, emphasizing that this makes it possible to use smaller platform supply vessels (PSVs). The system’s operational window is from -2m to 25m.In mid-September, Van Halteren Group signed an agreement to become an investor and shareholder in supporting the roll-out of the first systems.