"Exits" for Maritime-bound Tech Companies?  -  Fueled with Cash, the Race is ON!

An article by Hannan Carmeli (Oct. 21, 2022)

It is with excitement that we celebrate the 3rd edition of this M&A report. In October 2018 we opened our first article with the question asked by a prospective investor and which triggered our analysis - "Why would I invest in a sector that barely has any exits?". Four years later, the trend is clear, and we are glad to share the findings.

Maritime Tech M&A Slide H1 2022.jpg

(2017- H12022 Maritime-Tech Exits, published October 2022 by theDOCK)

This year’s chart triggers additional interesting observations. The ~50 count of transactions per year was sustained. This is already a well-established baseline which provides startups and investors a comfortable horizon to satisfy their monetary aspirations.

  1. Deal density has grown exponentially - from ~5 transactions per year in each 2016 and 2017 to a steady pace of 40-50 transactions in each of 2019/20/21 and 2022. And all this in years riddled with COVID19 impact on startups! The challenges were apparently positively offset by the growing awareness to the importance of a resilient supply chain.

  2. More diversity in the type and number of buyers and their areas of interest. Leading is Wartsila with 7 acquisitions since 2016, followed by Lloyds Register, that registered 5 acquisitions during the period. From the 200  transactions tracked, the most active companies (acquiring new technologies) were from Europe (120 transactions, out of which 53 were done by Nordic companies), followed by North America (71 transactions). In all the above dimensions, there is a "long tail" of buyers and countries engaged with the activity.

  3. IPO strategies and PEs entering the game - the last two years have seen the first such transactions. Examples include

    • IPOs - Freightos became publicly traded over NASDAQ and Windward over the London Stock Exchange​

    • Private Equity Deals - our analysis revealed 3 transactions registered by KKR (including Navis and Navtor) and Francisco Partners ($24 Billion raised to date), which announced a strategic investment in Veson Nautical

 

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