LR to Focus on Shipping with Sale of Division to Goldman Sachs Arm
British professional services provider Lloyd’s Register (LR) has agreed to sell its business assurance and cyber security division to Goldman Sachs Asset Management as the company focuses on maritime activities, executives said on Tuesday.
The deal is expected to be completed during the second half of 2021 subject to regulatory approval, the companies said.
When asked about the value of the transaction, an LR spokeswoman said it “exceeds $100 million”.
LR’s business assurance & inspection services division - which will be called LRQA - provides auditing and certification services and is particularly strong in the food, automotive, telecoms, manufacturing and energy sectors. The unit includes LR’s cyber security business Nettitude.
Michael Bruun, EMEA head of the private equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in a statement on its LRQA investment that it looked “forward to accelerating the company’s growth trajectory both organically and through acquisitions.”
Goldman Sachs has already made a foray into the business assurance sector through an investment in Oslo-listed workplace health and safety software provider EcoOnline.
The LRQA deal follows the sale last year by LR of its energy business to investment company Inspirit Capital.
LR’s chief executive Nick Brown said the transaction came at a time “when there is a pressing need for specialist maritime advisers to guide clients through fundamental change and to help support their digitalization and decarbonization ambitions”.
“Our ambition is to be the go-to partner and trusted adviser for compliance, performance and sustainability to the maritime industry and broader ocean economy,” Brown told Reuters.
LR is already a leading global player in ship certification for over two centuries.
With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Decarbonization is one the industry’s key priorities in coming decades with multiple private initiatives emerging as pressure from investors and environmentalists grows.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski)