E-learning providers Videotel and Seagull will collaborate in producing new training content when they are supported by the same private equity group. This will bring together more than 40 years of experience in maritime training provision and ambitions to invest in new courses.
Combined, these businesses generate US$50M of annual revenue and provide e-learning services to more than 10,000 ships.
Oakley Capital Investments has partnered with the management teams and investors to purchase UK-headquartered Videotel Marine from VSAT provider KVH Industries for US$90M. This is eight weeks after it completed the acquisition of Norway-based Seagull from its shareholders.
According to Oakley Capital managing partner Peter Dubens, both e-training business will be managed separately, but will collaborate on producing new content and technology.
“Both teams are exactly the type of highly ambitious professionals we continually seek to back,” said Mr Dubens. “We look forward to supporting them in their plans to invest in new content and technology solutions based on the wealth of internal expertise which can now be shared across the group.”
He thinks knowledge and resource sharing will lead to greater levels of product and services being developed, enabling owners to remain compliant with IMO requirements, enhance seafarer knowledge and improve onboard safety.
Seagull managing director Roger Ringstad said investment will deliver a broader range of training. “As the shipping industry continues to make advancements in digitalisation, we see significant opportunities to further enhance the breadth and depth of products and services we offer our clients,” he said. “In Videotel and Oakley we believe that we have the perfect partners to support us on that journey.”
Videotel managing director Raal Harris thinks this partnership is a historic moment for maritime e-learning. “In combining our expertise and sharing the additional resources that Oakley can provide, we will be able to meet the needs of our customers in ways never previously possible,” said Mr Harris.
Once the Videotel acquisition is completed, Seagull chairman and founder Oscar Johansen will be appointed president of the combined group. Mr Ringstad and Mr Harris will continue to lead Seagull and Videotel, respectively.
KVH plans to concentrate on evolving its VSAT technology and introducing internet of things technology with the funds from its sale of Videotel.
In April 2019, Seagull Maritime purchased software company Tero Marine to combine fleet management software with computer-based training products in one group.