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PNG Businessman buys Black Swan International

Black Swan International, PNG’s leading security services company, has been sold by its international owners to Papua New Guinea’s TrueNorth Capital, concluding several months of negotiations.

On 17 August 2023, Sentinel Global Holdings Pte Ltd (Sentinel) confirmed the sale of Black Swan to TrueNorth Services Limited, a subsidiary of Papua New Guinean investment firm  TrueNorth Capital owned in turn by leading Papua New Guinean businessman Mr Anthony Smaré.

In the last five years Black Swan has undertaken significant changes in its operating model. This included a diversification of its customer base, enhancement of its head office and development of support bases in both Port Moresby and Lae to improve its capabilities and performance as PNG’s leading top-tier security services company.  The sale also included the affiliated training company, Pacific Development & Training Institute (PDTI). Sentinel plans to focus on other investments and operations in the Asia Pacific.  

Sentinel’s Management said “We are proud of our record with Black Swan over the last five years, providing consistently high service to our clients whilst providing training and employment opportunities for thousands of Papua New Guineans around PNG at clients’ sites.  I am happy that we were able to keep Black Swan fully operational during the recent challenging Covid pandemic supporting the needs of our customers and retaining the majority of our workforce for that period.  Importantly, we are leaving the company in a very healthy financial state, having met all of our statutory requirements and obligations to our workforce and PNG.  I thank our valued customers and all of our staff for their support of Black Swan during our tenure as owners.”    

“We are happy that we are leaving Black Swan in the hands of much-respected Papua New Guinean business leader Mr Anthony Smaré and TrueNorth Capital.  Mr Smaré’s impeccable standing in the international business community and his outstanding track record of success gives us confidence that under his stewardship, Black Swan will soar to greater heights as PNG’s leading security solutions provider.”  

Said Mr Smaré “We are delighted that TrueNorth Capital, through our services arm TrueNorth Services Limited, was provided the opportunity by Sentinel to acquire Black Swan and make it a 100% PNG owned company. Black Swan has great clients, great people and an enviable record as PNG’s leading security solutions provider. We intend to build on the great work that Sentinel have done in building Black Swan up to its current level of excellence, by investing further in its people and technological capabilities to improve and enhance its services to its customers and become an essential partner to all participants in the upcoming resources boom.”

Black Swan is recognised as a premium provider of security services throughout PNG and under new 100% Papua New Guinean ownership there is unlimited potential for further growth and opportunities for the workforce.  

TrueNorth Capital is the private equity investment vehicle of Mr Smaré and his family.  

Mr Smare is a leading PNG entrepreneur and investor who over the last 20 years has managed, led or invested in some of PNG’s largest and most successful companies in investments, superannuation, mining, manufacturing and logistics and has first hand experience with sizeable security operations in challenging environments.    

TrueNorth Capital intends to maintain in place the operational management team in Black Swan, under the General Manager David Martin, whilst making further investments in Black Swan, Pacific Development & Training Institute and TrueNorth’s existing logistics investee company Expedient Limited to expand the companies’ technological and operational capabilities to enhance the range of security, safety, training and logistic solutions that they provide their customers, particularly in preparation for the upcoming resources boom.

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