Shackleton Ventures is thrilled to announce its 28th profitable exit with the sale of Stuarts Properties, a commercial property company that has proven to be another excellent investment.
This exit marks an important milestone because it allows us to feel that, in our way, we are living up to the spirit of Shackleton’s great Antarctic expedition a century ago.
In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set out on an expedition to cross the Antarctic continent on foot, a journey that had never been accomplished before. He and his crew set sail in the ship Endurance, with the goal of landing on the Weddell Sea and trekking across the continent to the Ross Sea. However, the Endurance became trapped in ice, and was eventually crushed by the pressure. Having abandoned his primary mission, Shackleton’s secondary objective was the safe return of all 28 crew members. The explorers were forced to abandon ship and set up camp on the ice, where they waited for several months in the harsh Antarctic winter.
When the ice began to melt, Shackleton and his crew took to the lifeboats, eventually reaching Elephant Island, a remote and inhospitable location far from any shipping lanes. From there, Shackleton and five others set out in one of the lifeboats, the “James Caird”, on a perilous 800-mile journey across the South Atlantic to the island of South Georgia, where they hoped to find help.
Despite the treacherous conditions and constant danger at sea, and a hazardous trek across the island, Shackleton made it to South Georgia. After a number of failed attempts, Shackleton returned to Elephant Island, in a tug borrowed from the Chilean Government, thereby rescuing all 28 crew. Although they were not able to achieve their original objective of crossing the Antarctic continent, Shackleton’s leadership and courage in the face of incredible adversity became legendary.
Just as Shackleton was proud to have brought home all 28 of his crew, the Shackleton team is particularly pleased to have brought home our 28th profitable exit.
The sale of our interest in Stuarts Properties is also an important milestone for Stuarts and unusually for Shackleton was effected by a management buy-out of our holding rather than by a flotation or company sale. Stuarts has performed strongly while we have been investors. The buy-out could not have been achieved without the steadfast work of Stuarts’ directors and the strong support of its shareholders.
In celebrating this achievement, we also recognize the challenges that lie ahead for the Shackleton team. As a direct secondary investment boutique, we understand the pitfalls and uncertainties that come with running early-stage businesses, and we are committed to helping our portfolio companies to define their strategies, establish appropriate incentives and ultimately achieve cheerful exits. Our role is not just to provide capital, but to offer guidance and support to help teams navigate the many obstacles they face along the way.
As we reflect on our 28th profitable exit, we are inspired by the courage, resilience, and determination of Shackleton and his team. We remain committed to our mission of helping companies grow and profit, and we look forward to many more successful exits in the future.