Stout Advises Graig Shipping on Sale of Idwal Marine Services

March 27, 2023

Stout is pleased to announce the successful sale of Idwal Marine Services (“Idwal”), a leading provider of inspection services for the global commercial shipping sector, to its management team and private equity partner LDC to support the development of its proprietary technology platform and expand its global service footprint.

Based in Cardiff, U.K., Idwal provides vessel condition and integrity inspections, fleet monitoring, and data services for customers across the marine industry. Its services are used by ship owners, brokers, ship operators, flag states, investors, and other financial stakeholders when evaluating investments or divestments in marine assets and when assessing the condition of vessels and fleets.

The business was originally founded as a division of Graig Shipping PLC (“Graig”) in 2010. With its investment and support, Idwal has grown quickly under CEO Nick Owens due to increased demand from its global customers and its focus on consistency, integrity, and data-led inspections in the global maritime sector. Its Idwal Grade® asset condition rating enables sector peer-group benchmarking and has become a recognized standard in the industry.

The business, a certified carbon neutral organization, was the first in the industry to include both decarbonization metrics and crew welfare and working condition data in its reports. It is also focused on the provision of advanced ESG reporting to ensure that its customers are meeting increasingly stringent sector-wide environmental reporting requirements.

With LDC’s support, Idwal’s management team will further develop the platform, data, and service provision and expand its network of overseas offices, which already include locations in China, Greece, and Japan.

Graig, a 100-year-old U.K.-based entrepreneurial global shipping group, specializes in structuring, advising, and leading investments in services and shipping assets in the international marine market. The company said Idwal was a further example of the group’s successful track record of developing “best-in-class” marine-based business innovations and ventures.

Hugh Williams, CEO of Graig, said, “Idwal has grown from a new service to a genuine leader in its field with significant potential. For us, this was an intentional next step for Idwal and is part of Graig’s strategy to refocus the business on its core shipping investments and with the fast-growing offshore renewables sector. We look forward to continuing to partner with Idwal in our markets.”

Jon Howells, Head of Stout U.K. & Nordics, said, “We are proud to have advised Graig on this important transaction and wish Idwal every success. We have been impressed by Idwal management’s vision and drive to create the leading global maritime inspection company and are confident of their future prospects. We are pleased to add another successful transaction to Stout’s track record in the maritime technology sector.”

Graig was advised by Stout. The team comprised of Jon Howells, Avi Bauernfreund, Damian Serwin, and Rob Munro. Legal counsel was provided by Andrew Edge, Christopher Cowley, Siobhan Langwade, Liz Wilson, and Angela Petrevska of Taylor Wessing.

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Stout Park Limited (“Stout”) is an Appointed Representative of Sturgeon Ventures LLP which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.