MML Ireland invests in Mainport Shipping alongside Irish Mainport Holdings

We are delighted to have invested in Mainport Shipping Limited, an integrated marine services business that charters survey support vessels to global geo data specialists in the international offshore energy sector. The business also provides towage services across various ports within the Shannon Estuary. We are investing alongside Irish Mainport Holdings (IMH) as a significant minority shareholder.

Our investment will primarily support the purchase of the newbuild survey support vessel, the Mainport Edge, for c.€16m. The remaining capital will be used to fund the acquisition of additional survey support vessels to meet the rapid growth and demand stemming from the offshore wind sector which is being driven by energy security and the transition towards cleaner sources of electricity.

Offshore wind is one of the lowest-cost, low-carbon energy sources that can be delivered at scale and will be a key element to the global energy transition to 2050. The purchase of the Mainport Edge and additional vessels will enable the company to become a significant player and charterer of survey support vessels, which are a key requirement in the development and on-going operation of offshore wind infrastructure. The company currently operates one of the most modern survey support fleets to high international standards and has significant expansion ambitions.

Dave Ronayne, CEO, commented:

“We are delighted with this investment from MML as it will allow us to buy more ships for the expanding offshore wind sector. Our target market is Europe, and we will return to Ireland with an experienced track record when Ireland needs our ships.”

Shane Cooke, Investment Director at MML Ireland, added:

“Irish Mainport Holdings and Mainport Shipping are strong businesses with proud heritages and exceptional reputations and are a great example of a successful multi-generational family business. Dave Ronayne and the management team are passionate about the business and have a proven track record of delivering growth. We are delighted to be investing and partnering with them and are keen to invest further to allow this business to achieve its exciting potential.”

IMH was founded in 1957 to provide ship chartering for imports into Ireland. Over the years the business has evolved and now has ship chartering operations around the world. IMH is headquartered in Cork and remains owned by the Ronayne family and is led by Dave Ronayne (CEO), who has overseen the expansion of the business over the past 35+ years. Mainport Shipping will continue to be majority owned by IMH and led by Dave Ronayne, supported by a management team with extensive marine experience. The company currently operates a fleet of three survey support vessels (Mainport Cedar, Mainport Pine and Mainport Geo) which the Mainport Edge will join in early 2024 and two tugboats (Celtic Treaty and Celtic Fergus).

The investment in Mainport Shipping is the latest in a series of investments by MML Ireland in supporting mission critical, environmentally focused sectors. Offshore wind energy generation plays an increasing role in sustainable supply in Ireland and throughout Europe. This MML Ireland investment follows investments in Vyta, which provides IT asset disposal services, Kyte Powertech, which manufacturers bespoke distribution transformers, and Natural World Products, which is Ireland’s leader in recycling organics.

The MML investment team included Rory Quirke, Partner and co-Head of Investments, Shane Cooke, Investment Director, and Kevin Nyhan, Investment Associate.

KPMG provided corporate finance advice to IMH. Mason Hayes & Curran acted as legal adviser to MML, while John Fuller and Ray Shanahan of J.W. O’Donovan acted for IMH. Deloitte provided financial due diligence whilst Calash carried out a commercial review for MML. PWC provided tax due diligence and structuring advice to both MML and IMH.

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