Searchlight Capital Partners is an Investor in the Company That Took Down the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

Posted on 03/26/2024

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was taken down early Tuesday by a container ship called The Dali. This is after a support column was hit by a large container ship managed by Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group. The ship had lost power, sending vehicles and people into the Patapsco River. Apparently, the boat was experiencing repeated power failures from the short time it was released from the tugs after it left the port. Baltimore is the 11th biggest port in the U.S. The fall of the bridge could be the largest t-ever marine insurance payout.

6 people remain accounted for according to Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld. Two other people were rescued from the water. Fixing pot holes on the bridge, 6 construction workers remained missing on Tuesday afternoon as divers and other emergency workers on boats and helicopters searched for them.

The Singapore-flagged container ship called The Dali was managed by Synergy Marine Group and the ship is owned by Grace Ocean Pte Ltd. The vessel was chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk.

Captain Rajesh Unni is the Founder and CEO of Synergy Marine Group. On its website, Synergy Marine Group describes itself as having 660+ vessels under technical management. Rajesh Unni founded the company in 2006.

In October 2022, a private equity firm through funds invested in Synergy Marine Group. Funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. announced the completion of Searchlight’s acquisition of a minority ownership stake in Synergy Marine Group. Synergy provides ship owners with mission-critical services including full technical management (e.g. regulatory compliance, maintenance, procurement and remote systems monitoring), crew management (e.g. sourcing and training of seafarers and services like payroll) as well as marine services, (e.g. decarbonization services, seafarer health and wellness, newbuilding design and supervision and project management including for the installation of energy saving devices).

CORRECTION: Earlier, we reported that Mitsui & Co. is the owner of Grace Ocean and that it was not confirmed. That was incorrect. We received information that Mitsui has no capital ties with Grace Ocean. Grace Ocean is not a subsidiary of Mitsui and Mitsui does not own the Dali ship.

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