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Investor consortium to acquire V.Group for $650m

V.Group Rene-Kofod-Olsen-V-Group.jpg
Rene Kofod-Olsen, V.Group CEO
An investor group led by STAR Capital has agreed to acquire ship management group V.Group for an enterprise value of around $650m.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete in early autumn 2024, when London-headquartered V.Group will change hands from US private equity firm Advent International to a group led by UK-based STAR Capital and Belgium’s Ackermans & van Haaren.

Ackermans & van Haaren said in a press release that it will hold 33.3% of V.Group for an equity investment of $150m, excluding acquisition debt financing. It is understood that the total enterprise value for the deal is $650m.

STAR Capital has experience in the maritime industry, with a four-year investment in Blohm+Voss from 2012-2016, and five-year investment in MPC Container Ships from 2017-2022.

Current V.Group owners Advent agreed to take a majority stake in the company in 2016 from Omers Private Equity which bought V.Group in 2011 from Exponent, which had owned V.Group since 2007. Exponent's 2011 sale of V.Group put the enterprise value at $520m. 

Aditya Bindal, Partner of STAR said: “V. is an excellent fit for STAR’s investment strategy with its strong brand and leading position in a highly fragmented market, making it a natural leader in providing technical management and marine services to fleet owners and operators, including those turning to outsourced services for the first time.”

Rene Kofod-Olsen, CEO of V. said: “I am truly excited to welcome such well-respected, long-term investors with deep shipping sector experience to assume the ownership of V. I have no doubt that this transaction will further strengthen V., allowing us to accelerate investments across our shipping and services platform to the benefit of our customers, employees and the industry.” 

V.Group provides services to around 3,500 vessels and has a network of over 44,000 seafarers to crew its client's ships. It has 50 offices in 30 countries, and around 2,900 employees.

Piet Dejonghe, co-CEO of Ackermans & van Haaren, said: “We are impressed by V.Group’s long term relationships with its customers, its strong safety record as well as the differentiating offering of  SG-related services. V.Group will represent a valuable addition to the AvH Growth Capital portfolio.”