Maritime monitoring business snapped up by Dutch suitor

An Emsys unit in-situ

An Altrincham manufacturer of marine emissions monitoring systems for the global shipping industry has been acquired by a Dutch company, for an undisclosed sum.

VPS, a global marine fuel testing advisory company owned by international investment firm Fremman Capital, has acquired Emsys Maritime which was incorporated in 2016 by owner Simon Brown and provides systems for vessels such as cruise and container ships as well as tankships, liquified natural gas carriers and semi-submersibles.

Almost 100% of the business is exports to international companies and clients include Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries.

VPS operates laboratories in Rotterdam, Singapore, Houston and Fujairah. It tests marine fuels and lubricating oils, producing high quality, reliable analytical data with further expert interpretation and advice, helping ship operators to run their vessels efficiently, optimising fuel costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The acquisition of Emsys Maritime complements the growing digital decarbonisation service offering from VPS, servicing a rapidly increasing demand from shipping customers.

While based in Altrincham, Emsys has an overseas operating hub in South Korea. Its unique technology is supported by a comprehensive digital data platform which provides unique insights into a vessel’s real-time environmental profile allowing operators to maximise efficiency while maintaining regulatory compliance.

The recent introduction of the ‘Emsys Analytics’ software platform has provided a comprehensive, real-world data stream to ship operators and charterers to help manage their ESG reporting requirements. In April 2021, Emsys Maritime was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.

Dr Malcolm Cooper, CEO of VPS, said: “In Emsys Maritime, we have acquired a company with a strong technical capability and excellent reputation, helping us to deliver our ambition to be the leading service provider in fuel performance optimisation and emissions reduction.

“The addition of real time emissions measurement data complements our existing marine fuel analysis data to provide a comprehensive understanding of greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime sector. The integration of real time emissions monitoring into our existing portfolio of digital decarbonisation services within a single, unified platform will provide added value throughout the VPS digital customer journey.”

Simon Brown, founder and managing director of Emsys Maritime, said: “The acquisition by VPS allows Emsys Maritime to accelerate its already strong growth into new market areas and customer sectors.

“The integration of our real time data into the VPS digital decarbonisation platform will create an industry-leading portal which will help the wider shipping community on its journey towards net zero.”

Accountancy firm, Azets, provided corporate finance and tax advice to the company’s shareholders and directors, led by corporate finance partner Tim Mills and supported by Andrew Thompson and Niamh Scurr. Tax advice was provided by Sinead Watson.

Mills & Reeve provided legal advice to the Emsys Maritime shareholders. The team, which was led by partner Chris Ross, included Maya Parmar and Samantha Liptrott.