autonomous uncrewed SEA-Kit vessell on British waters. Russell-Cooke advises on sale of pioneering developer of autonomous marine vessels

Russell-Cooke advises on sale of pioneering developer of autonomous marine vessels

Peter Jeffery
Peter Jeffery
1 min Read

Russell-Cooke’s corporate and commercial team recently advised SEA-KIT International, a leading provider of high technology uncrewed vessel solutions to the maritime and research industries, on the sale of the remaining shares in the company to Fugro.

SEA-KIT is a pioneer in the autonomous marine sector. The sale to Fugro follows several years of partnership in the development of low emission uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) for sustainable maritime operations and ocean science. 

Prior to the development of USVs, the offshore industry has relied on traditional crewed vessels to complete a wide range of essential tasks, from inspecting offshore wind farm installations to surveying sensitive marine habitats. In comparison to crewed vessels, remotely operated USVs deliver improved safety and reduced risk to personnel, as well as lower environmental impact and fuel consumption. Reduced CAPEX and running costs, along with rapid mobilisation and a flexible payload area, make USVs a flexible and cost-effective solution for multiple offshore tasks.

Following completion of the deal, maritime robotics expert Doug Graham officially took over as CEO of the company from SEA-KIT’s founder, Ben Simpson.

The Russell-Cooke team that advised on the deal was led by partner Peter Jeffery. Peter advised the sellers over a three-year period at all stages of the sale process, from assisting with the heads of terms agreements and due diligence to negotiating the sale agreement and obtaining third-party consent.

It is rewarding to work with a highly mission-driven company like SEA-KIT on a deal that helps facilitate its founding vision to reduce the impact of vessel operations across the maritime and offshore industries to benefit both operators and the planet. Having advised Ben and his team from the earliest stages of this deal, we knew this founding vision was at the heart of everything they do and would inform their view of the right approach to combining the business with its long-standing partner. We are delighted that we were able to advise on the negotiation and completion of a sale that supports the company’s groundbreaking work to develop high-tech and low-carbon uncrewed vessels, which present profound opportunities for better stewardship of our oceans.”
Peter Jeffery
Peter Jeffery • Partner
We have known and worked with Peter for a long time and he and the team at Russell-Cooke have been invaluable in getting this deal done. It makes a huge difference when an adviser demonstrably understands your business and market. Peter brings this understanding in spades, along with a commercial approach that helped us navigate at pace and with dexterity the complexities that always come from bringing two businesses together.”
Ben Simpson • Founder • SEA-KIT

Russell-Cooke's corporate and commercial lawyers help businesses, ranging from startups to established corporations, by delivering in-depth expertise and legal advice across a wide range of corporate and commercial law issues.


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News Corporate and commercial law SEA-KIT International uncrewed vessel solutions maritime and research industries sale of remaining shares Fugro autonomous marine sector low emission uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) sustainable maritime operations ocean science offshore industry traditional crewed vessels remotely operated USVs safety and reduced risk environmental impact fuel consumption CARPEX and running costs maritime robotics expert Heads of Terms Agreement due diligence Sale Agreement third-party consent mission-driven company vessel operations betters stewardship of oceans founding vision