An event that occurred last summer escaped the vigilance that I try to maintain on the nautical economy. Fortunately my friends from Geogarage have just filled this gap. In the field of private electronic cartography, the actors change hands more and more often according to the economic and financial negotiations.
The Italian charting company C-Map, after being bought by the American Jeppesen, subsidiary of the Boeing group, in 2007 (¹), then resold in 2016 to the Norwegian investment fund Altor (²), recently associated with Goldman Sachs, and owner of Navico (B&G, Simrad, Lowrance), has just been picked up again by Lloyd's Register, leader in marine engineering, in March 2021. In the same time, June 2021, Navico was sold by Goldman Sachs-Altor to Brunswick Corp. (USA, Illinois), well-known owner of many brands in the yachting industry (Mercury, SmartCraft, QuickSilver, and over a dozen others.
It ends up making you dizzy, and we wonder what benefit the end user will get from it. One can also wonder how the Italian employees of C-Map, still headquartered in Viareggio in northern Tuscany, have experienced these successive changes of direction !
Lloyd's Register release explains :
The acquisition will be integrated into the i4 Insight platform, strengthening the existing performance platform ecosystem. LR's i4Insight digital network helps charterers, owners and operators gain actionable intelligence from their onboard and onshore systems.
Et Nial McCollam, LR Technology Director, to specify :
[…] This acquisition allows us to strengthen how we help our clients, and the maritime industry more broadly, accelerate operational efficiency improvements. Importantly, the capabilities we have acquired are highly relevant to the industry’s goal of simultaneously reducing costs and emissions. This forms part of our wider strategy, where we are combining inhouse, proprietary software development with alliance partnerships, corporate venturing and acquisitions, to build more cohesive and integrated digital solutions, specifically tailored to maritime market needs.
What a great program ! Anyway, at our small level of recreational boaters, above all, we can see C-Map taking over the place left by the withdrawal of Navionics from some partnerships (³), by expanding its service offerings to a growing number of developers (Time Zero, iNavX, MacENC,…). We can hope that the financial means of the purchasers will benefit the quality of the charts, their accuracy and ergonomics.