Somali pirates face new forces as Drum Cussac sells to Ambrey Risk
Security group Drum Cussac is to sell its business which protects ships from Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean to rival Ambrey Risk.
Andrew Littlejohns, chief executive of Drum, said the deal – for an undisclosed amount – would allow his business to focus on longer-term maritime contracts and developing its core risk consultancy and mitigation operations.
Drum’s maritime transits arm deploys armed guards to vessels sailing through high-risk areas to protect them from pirate attacks.
The business was set up in 2008, following a rise in Somalia-based piracy in the Indian Ocean from 2006 onwards.
Initially it used methods such as emitting ear-splitting soundwaves and firing high-pressure hoses at pirate ships to scare them away.
But, folllowing customer requests, it eventually armed its guards to ensure its customers were better protected.
The sale follows a decrease in the number of incidents of piracy off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean, from a peak of almost 200 in 2010 and 2011 to just two this year to date.
This decline led Drum to decide to sell the business in order to concentrate on offshore contracts that tend to last longer than the work protecting ships for single voyages entails.
Drum will now focus on providing security consultancy at offshore oil and gas installations and survey vessels, which offer longer-lasting contracts.
Prior to the sale, Drum, which is based in Poole, had 150 full-time staff, with a pool of about 400 contractors.
Under the sale, Drum, which last year had a turnover of £65m, will transfer 10 full-time staff and approximately 100 contractors to Ambrey.