Searchlight Capital buys into Synergy

New York-based private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners has bought into Singapore shipmanager Synergy Marine Group.

Searchlight did not disclose the terms of the deal, except that it involved a minority ownership stake in the Rajesh Unni-led group.

Founded in 2006, Synergy has grown to become the world’s fourth-largest shipmanager, with a global network of over 25 offices across 13 countries and around 500 vessels on its books, including tankers, bulkers, containers and gas carriers.

Commenting on the deal, Captain Rajesh Unni, founder and CEO of Synergy, said: “We have always believed in and implemented a strong culture of customer centricity in Synergy. Now, to be able to further continue creating incremental value for our clients, we need to look at newer operating models focused on a value driven partnership as opposed to the present vendor mindset in the ship management industry. Amongst other things, this could be driven by digitalisation especially considering the increased regulatory complexity and ever growing ESG considerations. Hence, we are excited to partner with Searchlight, who have a strong and demonstrable track record of rigorous transformation and operational excellence execution.”

Searchlight Capital was established in 2010 by Eric Zinterhofer, Oliver Haarmann, and Erol Uzumeri with offices in New York, London and Toronto. It has around $10bn in assets under management, including Greek operator Celestyal Cruises, which it took over in November last year.

“At Searchlight we seek to partner with like-minded founders of market leading businesses that are focused on delivering consistently high-quality services to their customers– and with Synergy and Captain Unni we have found the perfect match. This management team, built over many years, has a highly impressive track record of both organic and acquisitive growth and together we look forward to continuing Synergy’s development, while ensuring delivery of the mission to continually improve the shipping industry for all participants,” added James Redmayne, partner at Searchlight.




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