European private equity company GMT Communications Partners (GMT) is planning to invest €50m in Norway-based Seagull, a provider of computer-based training systems and e-learning for vessel crews.

GMT will invest the money from its third and current fund, GMT Communications Partners III, which closed in July 2007.

Founded in 1996, Seagull provides computer-based training systems and e-learning for vessel crews worldwide.

The company offers a library of training and on-board courses related to regulatory and compliance issues.

GMT partner Natalie Tydeman said: "We have together developed an exciting plan to extend investment in training content and customer support, and to continue to grow the business within shipping and other specialist sectors."

GMT, along with Seagull’s chairman Oscar Johansen and managing director Roger Ringstad, will acquire the shareholdings from some of Seagull’s existing shareholders.

The investment is expected to allow the company to increase investment in product development, sales and marketing, and customer support.

Seagull said its computer-based training systems are being used in around 8,000 locations, mainly on seagoing vessels by shipping companies.

Seagull manages the training systems, including performance management and assessment solutions that allow shipping companies to meet and exceed standards of training, certifications and watchkeeping (STCW) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards.

Seagull chairman Oscar Johansen said that GMT’s access to international networks, expertise and support in the coming years will allow the company to continue to develop its technology platform and focus on its commitment to service excellence.

"By combining our resources we will be able to ramp up our product development, sales and marketing and world-wide support for our clients," Johansen said.