Maritime-Tech “Exits” - Surge in 2019/20, Reaching New Horizons

An article by Hannan Carmeli (Dec.7, 2020)


Back in October 2018 we opened a previous article with a question we stumbled over back then (by a financial investor) - "Why would I invest in a sector that barely has any exits?". We decided to take action. We rolled our sleeves and conducted a study reviewing years 2016-2018 to figure out numbers and trends. We were surprised with the findings and we are here again to report the status today, two years later - end of 2020.

Even the shortest glimpse makes it clear, very clear - the trend is on - big time!

theDOCK Marine Technology Acquisitions S

(2016-2020 Maritime-Tech Exits, published December 2020 by theDOCK)

What a long way have we come in just two years. Here are a few quick observations:

  1. Deal density has grown exponentially - from under 10 transactions per year in 2016 and 2017 to more than 50 transactions in each of 2019/20. That's more than a 5X growth!

  2. More diversity in the type and number of buyers, and their areas of interest. Leading is Wartsila with 6 acquisitions since 2016. Followed by Cargotec (including Navis) that registered 5 acquisitions during the period. Most active companies (acquiring new technologies) were from North/West Europe - Norway and the UK.

  3. Strong motivation to go digital - many companies cited the adoption of digital innovation to be of strategic importance. Additional acquisition objectives included the establishment of new business lines and expanding to new geographies. As to functionality - most of the technologies subject to the acquisitions, attended to needs and challenges in the areas of Supply Chain and Sustainability.

The trend which started back in 2017/18 has accelerated and actually quintupled! There is a substantiated increase of activity around maritime-bound M&A’s. Entrepreneurs, investors, global leading corporations - take note! 

To access the “2016-2020 Maritime-Tech Exits” interactive PDF (with links to acquisition announcements)