Equistone Partners Europe ("Equistone"), a prominent European mid-market private equity company, has purchased OneOcean, a leading supplier of voyage compliance, safety, and environmental solutions, from Lloyd's Register ("LR"), a global provider of marine professional services. This move will help LR achieve its goal of being the marine industry's trusted consultant for compliance, safety, performance, and sustainability solutions, allowing clients to run more efficient, cleaner, and safer operations.
The pedigree of OneOcean will expand and considerably complement LR’s existing digital solutions, including fleet management (Hanseaticsoft) and vessel performance and optimisation (i4 Insight, C-MAP Commercial and Greensteam) portfolios.
OneOcean solutions are currently used by more than 16,000 vessels to support and optimise compliance, safety and environment, increasing transparency and simplifying complex regulations and tasks to enable teams to work more transparently for efficiency and enhanced decision making.
OneOcean was created by the merger of ChartCo, in which Equistone first invested in 2016, and Marine Press in 2019. With Equistone’s support, OneOcean has changed and grown rapidly, with four acquisitions, two divestments, a merger and a complete cultural change from product distributor to leading-edge software solutions provider.
LR Group CEO Nick Brown said: “The acquisition of OneOcean propels LR to the position of a leading digital player in the maritime industry enabling clients to make better commercial day-to-day decisions, reducing risks, improving operation efficiencies and critically meeting complex maritime regulatory requirements. We recognise that there has never been a more pressing need for specialist maritime advisers to guide and support clients through the fundamental changes they face, helping to define the route to compliance, operational efficiency, sustainability and competitive agility. With this acquisition, LR will be an even more valuable partner to our clients.”
Martin Taylor, CEO of OneOcean said: “We are really looking forward to working with Nick and his team to create a catalyst for change in an industry that needs to adapt as rapidly as when coal replaced sails. OneOcean has grown phenomenally over the last 20 years to be a clear market leader, now joining the LR family provides a fantastic home for the next chapter of growth. Together we have the scale, reputation and expertise - combining both digital and advisory capabilities - to meet the challenges faced by the industry. This is an exciting move for OneOcean, LR and the wider maritime community.”
Tim Swales, Partner at Equistone, said: “This business has undergone remarkable transformation and growth over the past six years, since we first invested in ChartCo and then supported the formation of OneOcean through the merger with Marine Press. Martin and his team have built a high-quality business that is in the vanguard of the marine industry's shift towards digital solutions, and it has been a pleasure to work with them. In Lloyd’s Register we are confident we have found the right partner to support OneOcean through this next stage of its growth.”
The deal is subject to regulatory clearance and is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.