HAMPSHIRE could become the home of the world’s leading marine robotics company following a business takeover.

Ocean Infinity, based in Fareham, has acquired Ambrey, a maritime security company with regional offices and operations across the world.

Ambrey operates a fleet of more than 40 patrol, logistics and accommodation vessels, employing a management team of more than 150 full-time staff and 1,350 contractors and crew.

Ocean Infinity said the deal would combine its robotic vessels, data, cyber, artificial intelligence and low-emission operations with one of the leading brands in the maritime security sector.

Ocean Infinity, which has a base in Austin, Texas, as well as at Fareham, says its Armada fleet of robotic vessels will be the largest of its kind in the world when fully mobilised. It now has a footprint across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa.

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Chief executive Oliver Plunkett said: “The market presence and capabilities that the Ambrey team bring, along with a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit, will augment and strengthen our in-house capabilities in a way that will unquestionably move us forward in becoming the world’s leading ocean technology and data business.”

Chris Charnley, Ambrey group managing director, said: “Along with my co-founder, John Thompson, we firmly believe that with Ocean Infinity we share a common vision to keep pushing boundaries and to revolutionise the maritime industry.

“Ten years ago we started on our journey to build the world’s leading maritime security firm. In recent years, we have built upon our foundations in risk management to expand to a wider range of marine support services.

“Our staff and crew have consistently delivered for our clients in the most complex and difficult of operating environments. It is through their hard work, professionalism and dedication that we have built Ambrey’s successful business today. As we look to the future with Ocean Infinity, technology and green operations are leading the way. Together, we seek to revolutionise our industry and broaden our service offering, underpinned by our greatest asset, our people and the combined expertise of our new team.”

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Chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark supported Ambrey’s shareholders with a corporate finance service and tax advice through its team of Nick Tippett, Andrew Killick, Stuart Rogers and Chris Rodgers.

Corporate finance director Nick Tippett said: “Ambrey is a dynamic and fast-paced business which has built an enviable reputation in the maritime sector.

“The acquisition by Ocean Infinity gives both businesses significant opportunity to continue their success stories and strengthen their market leading positions. It has been a pleasure to support Chris and John, who will remain with the business, and the Ambrey team on achieving this transaction.”