Pole Star reaches for sky with Absolute merger

Pole Star cargo ship image

Pole Star Space Applications Ltd, Absolute Software Inc. and Absolute Maritime Tracking Services Inc. have completed a merger of the three organisations. The enlarged global business, headquartered in London, will provide satellite-based monitoring and security-related services to more than 35,000 vessels – half the world’s international fleet. Livingstone’s Defence and Security team advised Pole Star on the terms of the merger.

Combining Pole Star’s award-winning expertise in systems for commercial fleets, flags and maritime administrations with Absolute’s complementary flag clients and credentials in fisheries management, the enlarged organisation – to be re-named Pole Star Group – will offer cutting-edge technology to the maritime industry as a whole.

“Our goal is to be the world’s leading provider of fleet management, ship security and vessel monitoring systems to the maritime industry as a whole. This merger is a big step towards achieving that,” said Colin Hook, the newly appointed CEO of Pole Star Group. “Both Pole Star and Absolute have complementary technologies and together we can provide extended, more advanced services and systems to our clients around the globe. We are excited by the opportunity of being able to offer fisheries solutions to many of our existing government clients.”

The group will now operate Long-Range Identification & Tracking (LRIT) data centres for 40 maritime administrations including Panama, Singapore, the Marshall Islands, Liberia, Australia and Canada, as well as providing LRIT Conformance Testing and Certification for more than 90 flag nations.

Graham Carberry, Director at Livingstone, commented: “With sovereign nations increasingly focused on accessing real-time data about ship movements in their territorial and neighbouring international waters, and with commercial ship owners anxious to protect crews and cargos from the increased risk of piracy, Pole Star has clinched leadership of a rapidly-evolving global market.”

Partner at Livingstone Jeremy Furniss added: “This was a complex transaction involving the merger of legal entities in Australia, Hong Kong, Panama, the United Kingdom and United States. Livingstone’s own international reach made us a natural partner for Pole Star.”

Colin Hook concluded: “Livingstone provided us with a great deal of hands-on support and expert counsel in navigating the potentially turbulent waters around valuing the two businesses and negotiating a structure in which the Pole Star and Absolute investors share in the upside created by this exciting merger. Their familiarity with our sector and cross-border deal-making experience proved a real asset.”


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