GMT naval deal heralds fundraising launch

GMT Communications Partners’ third fund is 75% invested after its recent maritime training deal, with a new €350m fund set to be launched in the next few months.

GMT Communications Partners has invested in Seagull, a maritime training software provider, in a deal understood to be worth in the region of €50 million.

The investment takes the firm's current investment vehicle, GMT Communications Partners III, past the 75 percent deployed mark, according to sources with knowledge of the fund, meaning a new fundraising process is likely to be launched in the fourth quarter.

GMT III, a 2006-vintage fund which has returned 80 percent of its invested capital to date, raised €342 million according to PEI Media data, and the new fund is expected to target a similar amount. No decision as to a placement agent has yet been made, sources said, whilst the firm is understood to be eyeing a first close in the first half of 2013.

The Seagull investment saw GMT target a sector it has been focusing on for several years.

Partner Natalie Tydeman told Private Equity International that the company, which provides computer-based training systems and e-learning products to “seafarers worldwide”, will provide opportunities for expansion into other “regulated industrial markets”.

The investment was supported with debt financing provided by private debt provider Ares Management.