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Owners of X-Press Feeders invest in offshore shipping company

Caption: © Tidal Transit

Chris Hartnoll’s Hico Investment Group, founder of the carrier X-Press Feeders, is expanding its maritime portfolio by investing in the offshore shipping company Tidal Transit.

The new partnership is intended to “combine Tidal Transit’s solid operational and technical expertise in offshore crew transfer with Hico’s strategic capital and broader industry presence,” according to a statement.

The aim is to consolidate Tidal Transit’s position in the crew transfer vessel (CTV) sector, where it is “pioneering the electrification of the entire sector”.

The UK-based shipping company operates a fleet of six vessels. Tidal Transit’s projects include the development of the world’s first electric crew transfer vessel (E-CTV).

With the investment in Tidal Transit, Hico intends to strengthen its involvement in the offshore wind sector and complement the offshore support vessel services of its existing portfolio company Britoil. The investor also recently invested in Britoil – as well as in the feeder shipping companies Bengal Tiger Line and Caribbean Feeder Service, both of which also have a German history.

Hico was founded in 2021 by Tim Hartnoll. He had joined the shipping company X-Press Feeders in 1981, which had been founded by his father Chris Hartnoll. He gave up his CEO position at the carrier in 2020 and has since focused more on his investor activities.

Chris Hartnoll, CEO of Hico Investment Group, said of the latest transaction, for which no financial details were disclosed: “We believe that the offshore wind segment is supported by positive macro-economic factors such as decarbonization policy mechanisms and continued technological advances in the offshore wind industry.” Leo Hambro, Commercial Director at Tidal Transit, added: “We welcome Hico’s years of experience in sustainable maritime investment and together we can really drive the journey towards fully electrified offshore crew transportation.”

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