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Bolster Investment Partners acquires a minority stake in Oceanwide Expeditions

Amsterdam – Corporate Finance International (‘CFI’) is pleased to announce that it acted as the exclusive corporate finance advisor to the founding shareholders of Oceanwide Expeditions (‘Oceanwide Expeditions’ or the ‘Company’), a market-leading specialist in expedition cruises to the polar regions, in the successful sale of a minority stake to Bolster Investment Partners (‘Bolster’).

Oceanwide Expeditions established in 1993 by father and son, Mr Wijnand van Gessel and Mr Michel van Gessel, is a pioneer of ship-based polar expeditions and one of the first companies that took travelers to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen. Since then, the Company has developed into a travel specialist for small-scale expedition cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic.

Oceanwide Expeditions owns a modern fleet of four ice-strengthened expedition vessels and a fifth vessel will be operational from September 2021 onwards. Offering shore-based, wildlife-centered and activity-intensive expeditions in combination with a focus on ecological sustainability and preservation, makes the Company stand out as a unique operator of polar expeditions. Moreover, Oceanwide Expeditions was named the World’s Leading Polar Expedition Operator for five times. Bolster’s participation originates from Oceanwide Expeditions’ wish to broaden its shareholder base, increase its financial strength and accelerate growth.

Bolster is a long-term investor specialising in minority interests and invests in exceptional Dutch companies with a keen focus and proven business model. Bolster helps entrepreneurs realise their company’s full potential by acting as equal partners. The team has a proven track record and successfully collaborated with over 100 companies since 1982.

Mr Wijnand van Gessel and Mr Michel van Gessel (CEO) elaborate: “We are true specialists providing a unique exploratory experience. Expedition cruises are a segment of the travel industry that keeps growing, and our type of adventure voyages remain unchangeably attractive. With our strong market position, solid financial balance sheet, and the support of Bolster as a committed shareholder who supports our vision, nothing withholds us to continue our success. CFI has delivered a highly appreciated outcome in this transaction for us, combining seamless execution and the ability to customise the entire process in a way that truly matches the Company’s unique proposition and our specific needs.”

CFI orchestrated discussions and negotiations with Bolster, which ultimately resulted in a successful sale of a substantial minority stake. The transaction closed on 16 December 2020.

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