Aberdeen-based wind farm vessel operator with 1,400 staff changes hands in major deal

Aberdeen-headquartered North Star, which operates a fleet of 48 emergency response and service vessels and has some 1,400 staff, has changed hands for an undisclosed sum.

Partners Group, a global private markets firm, has agreed, on behalf of its clients, to acquire the business from Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

Bosses at Partners Group said the company was set to benefit from structural growth in the offshore wind industry, supported by “global decarbonisation trends”.

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Operating out of Aberdeen and Lowestoft, North Star has been supporting the energy sector for more than four decades. It operates a fleet of 48 specialised vessels that offer emergency response and rescue as well as essential offshore wind maintenance services.

Aberdeen-headquartered North Star operates a fleet of 48 specialised vessels that offer emergency response and rescue as well as essential offshore wind maintenance services.

Last month, the firm clinched the service operations vessel (SOV) contract to support the third phase of the giant Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the coast of Yorkshire.

Swiss listed Partners Group aims to transform North Star into a “leading pan-European next generation offshore wind infrastructure services company”. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Matthew Gordon, chief executive of North Star, said: “We have over 50 years of operating experience and maintain a market leading position for both emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) and service operation vessels (SOVs).

“Looking ahead, servicing the offshore wind industry represents a huge growth opportunity for us as the decarbonisation 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.”

David Daum, managing director, private infrastructure, Partners Group, said: “North Star represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a leading energy infrastructure services business that is well-positioned to capitalise on the transformative trends driving growth in the offshore wind industry.

“The company provides mission critical services and benefits from steady demand due to high barriers to entry and few direct competitors.”

Nicholas Pepper, member of management, private infrastructure, Partners Group, added: “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.”

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