Idwal under new ownership

Written by Nick Blenkey
Idwal CEO

Nick Owens, CEO of Idwal: "As an independent company with the support of LDC, Idwal is strongly positioned to increase investment in its services and its international presence.”

Cardiff, Wales, based vessel inspection specialist Idwal Marine Services has become a portfolio company of LDC, the private equity arm of the U.K.’s Lloyds Banking Group.

With an extensive surveyor network, Idwal provides vessel condition and integrity inspection services, fleet monitoring and data services for customers across the marine industry. Its services are used by ship owners, brokers, ship operators, flag states, investors and other financial stakeholders when evaluating investments or divestments in marine assets and when assessing the condition of vessels and fleets.

The business was originally founded in 2010 as a division of its previous Graig Shipping PLC (“Graig”) in 2010.

The deal with LDC backs Idwal’s existing management team, led by CEO Nick Owens, with what’s described as a “significant investment,” to support the development of its proprietary technology platform and expand its global service footprint.

Idwal has grown quickly under Owens’ leadership, thanks to increased demand from its global customers and a focus on consistency, integrity and data-led inspections. Its Idwal Grade asset condition rating enables sector peer-group benchmarking and has become a recognized standard in the industry, while the company also provides data for the quarterly Seafarers’ Happiness Index reports.

The business, a certified carbon neutral organization, was the first in the industry to include both decarbonization metrics and crew welfare and working condition data in its reports. It is also focused on the provision of advanced ESG reporting to ensure that its customers are meeting increasingly stringent sector wide environmental reporting requirements.

With LDC’s support, Idwal’s management team will further develop the platform, data and service provision and expand its network of overseas offices, which already includes China, Greece and Japan.

“This is the ideal outcome for both Idwal and Graig, as well as our customers and colleagues,” said Owens. “As an independent company with the support of LDC, Idwal is strongly positioned to increase investment in its services and its international presence.”

“Idwal has grown from a new service to a genuine leader in its field with significant potential,” said Graig CEO Hugh Williams. “For us, this was an intentional next step for Idwal and is part of Graig’s strategy to refocus the business on its core shipping investments and with the fast-growing offshore renewables sector. We look forward to continuing to partner with Idwal in our markets.”

Dewi Hughes, partner and head of LDC’s South West & Wales team, said: “Nick and the team have successfully built Idwal into a globally respected business with a reputation for sustainable and innovative services in an evolving marketplace. Now, with the opportunity to further develop its technology platform and further penetrate overseas markets, they will be able to fulfill their ambition to make Idwal the global leader and the Idwal Grade the pre-eminent standard in the international commercial shipping market.”

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