Private Equity To Keep Shipping Afloat?


In a bid to achieve regulatory compliance and allow the shipping industry to be more competitive, international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the time is right for shipping to seek financial backing from the private equity sector.

Alison Jarabo of maritime efficiency specialist, Fathom Shipping, thinks that regulation and the need to control costs were the two main factors driving the growth of technology in the shipping industry.

However, she believes that: “Technology and innovation may abound but, without end-users able to access the finance to deploy, the market will fail.”

Jarabo identified scrubber technology, ballast water treatment systems and ship performance management systems as some of the main technology opportunities in the industry today. 

Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner says: “Although we have seen a partial return to the shipping sector by banks during the past twelve months or so, there is still a shortfall in available finance.

“This comes at a critical time for the industry, with significant investment required in technology and services to achieve compliance with environmental regulation and to maximise commercial performance.

“Private equity investors who have a firm grasp on the potential risks and rewards available in today’s shipping services sector could be a good match for well-founded shipping services and technology providers who have a clearly identified market for their products.

“Indeed, it could be argued that recent developments have created something of a perfect storm to bring the two together.”

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