North Star Gets New Owner

Private markets firm Partners Group has agreed, on behalf of its clients, to acquire North Star, an operator of specialized vessels that offers emergency response and rescue and essential offshore wind maintenance services, from Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

Headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, North Star has a fleet of 48 Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRVs) and Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) and around 1,400 employees.

The SOVs are used to transport technicians to offshore wind farms and accommodate them for extended periods of time.

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According to Partners Group, North Star has strong infrastructure characteristics with an asset-heavy business model and predictable cash flows, supported by the mandatory usage of ERRVs and long-term contracts in the offshore wind sector.

The company is also expected to benefit from rising demand for SOVs due to structural growth in the offshore wind industry, which is being driven by global decarbonization trends.

Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, North Star, said: ”We have decades of operating experience and maintain a market-leading position for both ERRVs and SOVs. Looking ahead, servicing the offshore wind industry represents a huge growth opportunity for us as the decarbonization of economies gathers pace. Partners Group’s operational expertise in that industry will be very valuable as we expand into new offshore wind markets in Europe, which are experiencing similar tailwinds to those in the UK.”

Partners Group aims to transform North Star into a leading next-generation offshore wind infrastructure services company, which reflects the firm’s focus on investing with sustainability factors in mind.

”North Star represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a leading energy infrastructure services business that is well-positioned to capitalize on the transformative trends driving growth in the offshore wind industry.,” David Daum, Managing Director, Private Infrastructure, Partners Group, said.

”The Company provides mission-critical services and benefits from steady demand due to high barriers to entry and few direct competitors. We have extensive experience in the offshore wind sector and North Star is a great fit for our platform-expansion strategy. We look forward to working with Matthew and the team.”

Partners Group said it will work with management on a transformational value creation plan that will expand the company’s platform in Europe through growing its offshore wind fleet and broadening its offshore wind offering.

Nicholas Pepper, Member of Management, Private Infrastructure, Partners Group, said: ”The provision of mission-critical offshore infrastructure services is a subsector within renewables that we have been tracking through our thematic sourcing approach. Demand for SOVs is being driven by the construction of larger wind farms further from shore, which makes daily maintenance trips inefficient. North Star’s home market of the UK, the largest offshore wind market globally, is expected to account for a large proportion of future offshore wind capacity, providing the Company with a good springboard for growth internationally.”

Photo: North Star Group