Lloyd’s Register to divest Business Assurance & Inspection Services division LRQA

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has announced the sale of 100% of its Business Assurance & Inspection Services division, including cyber-security business Nettitude, to Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The new unit will be named LRQA upon completion of the deal, expected in the second half of this year following customary antitrust and regulatory approvals.

LR says the transaction will enable it to better support its clients to respond to the regulatory, economic and societal pressures to digitalise and decarbonise within challenging timeframes, allowing accelerated investment in LR’s maritime service offering, both organically and through acquisitions.

Nick Brown (pictured), 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.”