Hawaiki team sells Pacific cable to Singapore shipping group

Hawaiki team sells Pacific cable to Singapore shipping group

27 July 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A Singapore-based shipping company, BW Group, has bought the Hawaiki subsea cable operation for an undisclosed price.

This appears to be BW’s first venture into telecoms: the privately held company specialises in running tankers for oil, liquified gas and other energy products, though it has diversified into wind farms.

Andreas Sohmen-Pao (pictured, right), executive chairman of BW Group, which was founded by his grandfather, Yue-Kong Pao, in 1955 said: “BW Group has a deep heritage in maritime connectivity and infrastructure, with assets spanning production, transportation and distribution. Our strategy is to help connect countries across the oceans while working to reduce our environmental impact, including recent investments into wind installation vessels, floating wind, batteries, solar and other sustainable technologies.”

Hawaiki went live on its route from Australia and New Zealand across the Pacific to the west coast of the US three years ago this month. Executive chairman Rémi Galasso (pictured, left), who has led the company – first as CEO – for nine years, said: “Having established a successful subsea cable business with the support of our customers and partners, the company started a process to find a new long-term shareholder who is able to take the company to the next stage of development.”

Sohmen-Pao said: “Hawaiki is a great fit and we are pleased to be able to support the team in their next phase of development.”

BW Group bought 100% of Hawaiki through a subsidiary, BW Digital, but is not disclosing the price it paid. BW said: “The current Hawaiki team will continue to manage the business, and the transaction is subject only to applicable regulatory filings and approval.”

Galasso said: “BW has an excellent track record of growth in maritime and technology-related assets, combined with the highest standards of governance and strong access to capital through relationships with leading global banks and through the capital markets. Three years after Hawaiki’s commercial launch, it is time to write a new chapter of the company’s history and we believe BW is an ideal shareholder for this fast-growing business.”

A subsea cable marks a diversification of BW’s existing portfolio, which includes shipping, maritime infrastructure and new sustainable technologies. The company has a fleet of over 400 vessels and other floating assets, including oil production, gas import terminals, wind-farm installation, and investments in solar, batteries, biofuels and water treatment.