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Lloyd’s Register to focus growth strategy on maritime industry with expanded role and broader service offering


Business Assurance & Inspection Services division, including LRQA Nettitude, to be set up as independent business to be acquired by funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

29th June, 2021 – Lloyd’s Register (“LR”), a global provider of professional services specialising in engineering and technology solutions, has announced the sale of 100% of its Business Assurance & Inspection Services division, including cybersecurity business LRQA Nettitude, to Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The transaction is a key milestone in Lloyd’s Register’s strategy to become the go-to partner and adviser on compliance, performance and sustainability to the maritime industry and broader ocean economy. The deal is expected to complete during the second half of 2021, following customary antitrust and regulatory approvals.

The transaction will enable LR to better support its clients to respond to the regulatory, economic and societal pressures to digitalise and decarbonise within challenging timeframes. The additional investment capital it provides will empower LR to become an even more valuable partner to maritime clients as they address the risks and opportunities ahead of them. In particular, the divestment will allow accelerated investment in LR’s maritime service offering, both organically and through acquisitions.

Karen Bolton, Chief Executive of LRQA Nettitude said: “We are excited by the potential possibilities arising from becoming an independent organisation, together with LR Business Assurance and Inspection Services. Whilst LRQA Nettitude has benefited from Lloyd’s Register’s global footprint, we will now be in a better position to fully realise our original joint growth ambitions. The acquisition by Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides LRQA Nettitude with the opportunity to both invest in the development and growth of its world leading cybersecurity expertise, and to support LRQA’s broader vision to become the leading digitally enabled assurance provider. Their reputation, customer-advisory status and commitment to excellence further enhances LRQA Nettitude’s brand, culture and reputation that distinguishes us from our competitors.”

Under this new ownership, BA & IS will become LRQA, reflecting our history of expertise and heritage in both the assurance and inspection market and cybersecurity arena, with LRQA Nettitude maintaining its own brand identity as a member of the LRQA family. Both LRQA and LRQA Nettitude will no longer be a part of the Lloyd’s Register Group.

As a fully independent business, operating our own brands, our ambition is to deliver market leading, digitally enabled assurance, inspection services and cybersecurity services. Goldman Sachs Asset Management shares our vision and is committed to investing in our products, systems and people, enabling us to provide an even better service to our customers across the world.

The separation of the business is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2021. Both before and after that time you should expect ‘business as usual’, as we continue to deliver the highest levels of service and support. In some instances, the sale of Lloyd’s Register’s BA & IS division will require an amendment to contractual terms and conditions in order to reflect updates to legal entities. Where this is the case, we will contact you directly in the near future.

Nick Brown, Chief Executive of Lloyd’s Register Group said: “We believe this will unlock significant growth potential for both companies. For Lloyd’s Register, it comes at a time when there is a pressing need for specialist maritime advisers to guide clients through fundamental change and to help support their digitalisation and decarbonisation ambitions. This transaction builds on our 260-year heritage in the maritime industry and will strengthen our ability to take our compliance offering to the next level, expand our risk and advisory services and develop industry-leading digital solutions. It will also provide greater focus to build LR’s role as a leading industry advisor for maritime supply chain safety, resilience, efficiency and performance.”

Under its new ownership, Lloyd’s Register’s Business Assurance & Inspection Services division will adopt the brand name LRQA reflecting its 35 years of expertise and heritage in the assurance market. As an independent business, LRQA will continue to be one of the leading players in the fragmented assurance and inspection market, with a global footprint to service its customer base across a wide range of sectors. Goldman Sachs Asset Management intends to expand the LRQA business, helping it to become a leading digitally enabled assurance provider, partnering with customers across key sectors, geographies and segments as they navigate a changing risk landscape.

Michael Bruun, EMEA Head of the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management said: “We are delighted to invest in LRQA and look forward to accelerating the company’s growth trajectory both organically and through acquisitions. We are excited by LRQA’s strong ESG capabilities and the important role the company plays supporting clients managing their sustainable growth path.”

Paul Butcher, who has led the successful growth of the Business Assurance & Inspection Services division within LR for the past three years and will take on the CEO role for LRQA said: “We are at a critical moment in our journey and now is the right time for LRQA to become a fully independent business. This transaction will provide the additional focus we need to accelerate our ambition of becoming a leading digitally enabled assurance provider, at a time when our customers face an increasingly challenging operating landscape. The new ownership structure will help us strengthen our first mover advantage in digital and capitalise on increasing demand for assurance, inspection and cyber security services delivered by a trusted provider.”

Jose Barreto, EMEA Head of Business Services in the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management said: “LRQA is one of the leading providers of business assurance, inspection and consulting services globally. It is a highly regarded business with unique reputation and brings a large, diverse, high quality customer base and strong positions in management systems certification, as well as food, environmental, marine and cyber. We are excited to partner with LRQA Management, led by Paul Butcher, and support them in executing on their growth ambitions for the business.”

About LRQA Nettitude

Founded in 2003, LRQA Nettitude is an award-winning provider of cybersecurity services, bringing innovative thought leadership to the ever-evolving cybersecurity marketplace. Leveraging our tenacious curiosity, we aim to operate at the forefront of the industry. Through our research and innovation centres, LRQA Nettitude provides threat led services that span technical assurance, consulting and managed detection and response offerings.

We are driven by a desire to build and deliver the best cyber security propositions in the industry and stay abreast of the evolving legislative and regulatory cybersecurity landscape. This helps our clients to prioritise their cybersecurity risks, enabling them to focus on the activities that are core to their business.

We aim to empower our clients, imparting knowledge, advice and assistance to help them deploy changes in behaviour, understanding, and where appropriate, culture. This methodology is at the core of our services, helping provide pragmatic cyber security for industries such as Finance & Banking, IT, Technology and Engineering, Maritime, Offshore, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Critical National Infrastructure.

About Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global professional services organisation specialising in engineering and technology solutions. Our experts advise and support clients to improve the safety and performance of complex projects, supply chains and critical infrastructure. LR was created more than 260 years ago as the world’s first marine classification society to improve the safety of ships. Today we operate globally providing compliance, assurance and performance solutions to help keep the world moving safely, efficiently and sustainably.

Our Maritime business is a leading provider of classification, compliance and consultancy services to the marine and offshore industries, helping clients design, construct and operate their assets to the highest levels of safety and performance. We are expanding our portfolio of risk and advisory, commercial efficiency, vessel performance and voyage optimisation services to unlock and drive growth for our clients while also investing in the launch, build and scale of forward-looking maritime digital solutions, expanding our suite of products and services including Cloud Fleet Manager and i4Insights. 

We are wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, an independent global charity that supports research, innovation, and education to make the world a safer place. They do so by focussing on the most pressing global safety challenges, establishing the best evidence and insight to better understand the complex factors that affect safety, and by building partnerships for change. 

Together we stand by our purpose that drives us every single day; working together for a safer world.

About LRQA

LRQA, currently the Business Assurance & Inspection Services division of LR, is a multi-sector quality assurance, inspection services and cyber-security business. The business offers management systems compliance and expert advice across a broad spectrum of standards, schemes and improvement services which include training and customised assurance. The Inspection Services division certifies safety critical industrial equipment according to recognised codes, standards and regulations, while LRQA Nettitude, LR’s award-winning cybersecurity services organisation, provides threat led services that span technical assurance, consulting and managed detection and response offerings.

About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Equity

Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of March 31, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 1986, the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has invested over $75 billion since inception. We combine our global network of relationships, our unique insight across markets, industries and regions, and the worldwide resources of Goldman Sachs to build businesses and accelerate value creation across our portfolios. Follow us on LinkedIn.

Media contacts

Alex Briggs

For LRQA Nettitude
Ilze Blaauw

For Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Joseph Stein
T +44 207 774 4080