BGF backs Galway-based specialist marine business Ocean Crest Marine

5 September 2023

BGF has made a multi-million euro equity investment into Ocean Crest Marine, a Galway-based specialist marine plant hire business. The deal will see BGF become a significant minority shareholder in the business, while the funds will support Ocean Crest Marine’s growth in Ireland and expansion into the UK and beyond.

Ocean Crest Marine was founded in 2013 by Marcus Lally, who is CEO and majority shareholder of the business. The company currently employs 10 people and operates the largest fleet of jack-up barges in Ireland. These specialist barges are used for marine construction projects, including offshore wind projects and geotechnical campaigns. A jack-up barge can be elevated above the waves, tides and currents, by hydraulically climbing its four spud legs, offering a safe and stable working platform. The company currently has barges working on various marine projects in Dublin Port, Arklow, Dingle, Liverpool, and Scotland.

The deal was led by BGF investor Joe Higgins. Higgins will join Ocean Crest Marine’s board as director, while his colleague Aoife McAdam will join the board as observer.

Michael Maher will also join the board as non-executive chair and will invest in the business alongside BGF. He is a former partner at PwC in Dublin and has held CFO, COO and M&A Director roles during a 20-year tenure at global electrical group Glen Dimplex. Maher also chairs two other BGF portfolio companies—Limerick-based Croom Medical, the industry-leading outsourcing partner for the design and manufacture of orthopaedic implants, and Moulded Foams, the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of moulded foam products.

Marcus Lally, Founder and CEO of Ocean Crest Marine, said: “We are delighted to have BGF join us at Ocean Crest Marine. There is increasing demand for marine service providers to the offshore renewable industry here on our domestic shores and this investment will allow us to accelerate our growth plans in Ireland and the UK. With Michael Maher and Joe Higgins joining the board, Ocean Crest Marine will benefit from their knowledge and years of experience in scaling businesses in various jurisdictions.”

“Ocean Crest Marine is a market leader in the marine services and hire business and has grown rapidly in recent years. The business is well-placed to deliver further growth as it supports the ongoing expansion of Offshore Renewables.”
Michael Maher, OCM’s Incoming Chair

BGF investor Joe Higgins said: “Ocean Crest Marine is an exciting company with an exceptional track record in a very specialist industry sector. We are delighted to back Marcus’ ambitious growth plans and look forward to the company joining our growing roster of investee companies in Ireland.”

IBI, Flynn O’Driscoll and Mazars (Tax) advised Ocean Crest Marine on the deal. Regan Wall provided legal advice to BGF, while Gara Ryan Tax and Business Consultants provided tax advice and Navigo Consulting carried out the financial due diligence.