BGF has announced a multimillion-euro equity investment in Ocean Crest Marine, a Galway-based specialist marine plant hire business.

Ocean Crest Marine clients include offshore wind projects and other marine construction projects.

The deal will see BGF become a significant minority shareholder in the business. The funds will support the company’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 employs 10 people and operates the largest fleet of 'jack-up barges' in Ireland. 

Offshore wind projects and geotechnical campaigns

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.

BGF is Ireland’s largest growth capital investor with a minority-only approach to their investments in SMEs.  BGF in Ireland is backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), AIB and Bank of Ireland.

For BGF, the deal was led by investor Joe Higgins, who will join the board as director and his colleague Aoife McAdam will join the board as observer.

Michael Maher will also join the board as non-executive chairman 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 – Croom Medical, the industry-leading outsourcing partner for the design and manufacture of orthopaedic implants based in Limerick and Moulded Foams, the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of moulded foam products.

'Increasing demand'

Marcus Lally, founder and CEO of Ocean Crest Marine, said: “We are delighted to have BGF join us here in 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.”

For BGF, 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’s ambitious growth plans and look forward to the company joining our growing roster of investee companies in Ireland.”

Incoming chairman Michael Maher said: “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.”