LRQA (“LR”), a global provider of professional services specialising in engineering and technology solutions, has today announced the sale of 100% of its Business Assurance & Inspection Services division, including cyber-security business Nettitude, to Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The transaction is a key milestone in LRQA’s strategy to become the go-to partner and adviser on compliance, performance and sustainability to the maritime industry and broader ocean economy. The deal is expected to complete during the second half of 2021, following customary antitrust and regulatory approvals.
The transaction will enable LRQA to better support its clients to respond to the regulatory, economic and societal pressures to digitalise and decarbonise within challenging timeframes. The additional investment capital it provides will empower LRQA to become an even more valuable partner to maritime clients as they address the risks and opportunities ahead of them. In particular, the divestment will allow accelerated investment in LRQA's maritime service offering, both organically and through acquisitions.
Nick Brown, Chief Executive of LRQA Group said: “We believe this will unlock significant growth potential for both companies. For LRQA, it comes at a time when there is a pressing need for specialist maritime advisers to guide clients through fundamental change and to help support their digitalisation and decarbonisation ambitions. This transaction builds on our 260-year heritage in the maritime industry and will strengthen our ability to take our compliance offering to the next level, expand our risk and advisory services and develop industry-leading digital solutions. It will also provide greater focus to build LRQA's role as a leading industry advisor for maritime supply chain safety, resilience, efficiency and performance.”
Under its new ownership, LRQA’s Business Assurance & Inspection Services division will adopt the brand name LRQA reflecting its 35 years of expertise and heritage in the assurance market. As an independent business, LRQA will continue to be one of the leading players in the fragmented assurance and inspection market, with a global footprint to service its customer base across a wide range of sectors. Goldman Sachs Asset Management intends to expand the LRQA business, helping it to become a leading digitally enabled assurance provider, partnering with customers across key sectors, geographies and segments as they navigate a changing risk landscape.
Michael Bruun, EMEA Head of the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management said: “We are delighted to invest in LRQA and look forward to accelerating the company’s growth trajectory both organically and through acquisitions. We are excited by LRQA’s strong ESG capabilities and the important role the company plays supporting clients managing their sustainable growth path.”
Paul Butcher, who has led the successful growth of the Business Assurance & Inspection Services division within LRQA for the past three years and will take on the CEO role for LRQA said: “We are at a critical moment in our journey and now is the right time for LRQA to become a fully independent business. This transaction will provide the additional focus we need to accelerate our ambition of becoming a leading digitally enabled assurance provider, at a time when our customers face an increasingly challenging operating landscape. The new ownership structure will help us strengthen our first mover advantage in digital and capitalise on increasing demand for assurance, inspection and cyber security services delivered by a trusted provider.”
Jose Barreto, EMEA Head of Business Services in the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management said: “LRQA is one of the leading providers of business assurance, inspection and consulting services globally. It is a highly regarded business with unique reputation and brings a large, diverse, high quality customer base and strong positions in management systems certification, as well as food, environmental, marine and cyber. We are excited to partner with LRQA Management, led by Paul Butcher, and support them in executing on their growth ambitions for the business.”
LRQA is a global professional services organisation specialising in engineering and technology solutions. Our experts advise and support clients to improve the safety and performance of complex projects, supply chains and critical infrastructure. LRQA was created more than 260 years ago as the world’s first marine classification society to improve the safety of ships. Today we operate globally providing compliance, assurance and performance solutions to help keep the world moving safely, efficiently and sustainably.
Our Maritime business is a leading provider of classification, compliance and consultancy services to the marine and offshore industries, helping clients design, construct and operate their assets to the highest levels of safety and performance. We are expanding our portfolio of risk and advisory, commercial efficiency, vessel performance and voyage optimisation services to unlock and drive growth for our clients while also investing in the launch, build and scale of forward-looking maritime digital solutions, expanding our suite of products and services including Cloud Fleet Manager and i4Insights.
We are wholly owned by the LRQA Foundation, an independent global charity that supports research, innovation, and education to make the world a safer place. They do so by focussing on the most pressing global safety challenges, establishing the best evidence and insight to better understand the complex factors that affect safety, and by building partnerships for change.
Together we stand by our purpose that drives us every single day; working together for a safer world.
LRQA, currently the Business Assurance & Inspection Services division of LRQA, is a multi-sector quality assurance, inspection services and cyber-security business. The business offers management systems compliance and expert advice across a broad spectrum of standards, schemes and improvement services which include training and customised assurance. The Inspection Services division certifies safety critical industrial equipment according to recognised codes, standards and regulations, while Nettitude, LRQA's award-winning cybersecurity services organisation, provides threat led services that span technical assurance, consulting and managed detection and response offerings.
About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Equity
Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of March 31, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 1986, the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has invested over $75 billion since inception. We combine our global network of relationships, our unique insight across markets, industries and regions, and the worldwide resources of Goldman Sachs to build businesses and accelerate value creation across our portfolios. Follow us on LinkedIn.
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