BGF invested £2.2m in Scottish organic waste management company, Keenan Recycling to fuel its expansion in the Central Belt.
Family-owned business, Keenan, which is headquartered in New Deer in Aberdeenshire, launched its commercial food waste collection service in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in 2010 and now processes more than 60,000 tonnes of waste each year, transforming it into British Standards Institute accredited compost.
The company, which boasts a 14-acre facility at New Deer, near Turriff, has won awards for recycling food, garden and other organic waste into compost for agricultural and horticultural use, reducing the need to use chemical fertilisers.
Keenan Recycling opened a base at Linlithgow in August 2015 and has invested £700,000 in a fleet of six lorries to roll out its award-winning organic waste collection service to customers in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The investment from BGF will trigger further expansion in the Central Belt, where the firm is already collecting food waste from more than 600 clients and is on track to reach 1,000 businesses within the coming month.
The business is led by Grant Keenan, managing director.
BGF took a minority equity stake in the firm and a seat on the board.
Alongside BGF’s investment, Jim Clark, the founder of MSIS, an oil and gas waste management company, joined the board as Chairman. Mr Clark is a serial entrepreneur and chairman who brings with him sector and operational expertise in the waste management industry. Mel Keenan a founder member and investor in
Keenan Recycling continued as a director. Mel has a track record of success having previously led a management buyout and subsequent sale of RGIT Montrose.
Oil & gas executives gather in Aberdeen
In April 2015, 35 experienced non-executives from the oil and gas community gathered in Aberdeen to hear from Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of BGF, and to discuss the challenges of managing high growth and entrepreneurial companies.
The group discussed the common challenges of chairing businesses which are growing rapidly, the importance of getting the right relationship between an owner-manager and the chairman, and some of the skills that make a good chairman in a smaller company environment.
The dinner was held at the iconic Silver Darling restaurant on the Aberdeen harbour front, and was jointly hosted by BGF and FWB Park Brown, a leading executive search firm in Scotland and in the global oil and gas industry.
The 35 guests represented over 100 current non-executive appointments, including a range of owner managed, investor backed and public companies. A number of the guests commented that this is the first forum for non-executives in Aberdeen, and highlights the desire of both BGF and FWB Park Brown to work in partnership with the non- executive community.
Mike Sibson, who leads BGF’s investment activity in the Aberdeen office, highlighted the fact that introducing experienced non-executive directors to companies is a key part of BGF’s model.
“A core objective for BGF is to make a difference to the businesses in which we invest. The central plank of how we do this is the introduction of a chairman or non-executive director who knows the industry, who understands the business, and who has been through some of the challenges of growing an entrepreneurial business before. To date we have introduced over 70 chairmen and non-executives to our portfolio companies, and in our experience it has the potential to be transformational for the business.”
STATS secures £4.3m follow-on
STATS Group, the Aberdeenshire-based oil and gas pipeline engineering specialist, is preparing for further international expansion after it secured an additional £4.3 million investment from BGF in January 2015.
The management team behind STATS has also invested more money in the business, which received an initial £7.8m of growth capital from BGF in March 2012.
Since the initial funding deal, STATS has doubled its annual turnover to around £30m, has created 145 additional jobs and has opened operational bases in Canada, the Middle East and the US.
The additional growth capital will fuel the continued rate of expansion, especially in the US, where STATS opened a new facility in 2014 and recently won contracts worth more than $15m to provide intervention and isolation services to one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America.
BGF’s investment will also aid growth in the Middle East, where STATS has pioneered the use of emergency isolation tools as an insurance policy against damage to vital pipeline infrastructure, both subsea and on-land, with clients including national oil companies across the region.
Simon Munro, BGF regional director Scotland, said: “I’m delighted that we are investing more capital in STATS and continuing to back Peter and his team. Since our initial investment in 2012, the company has gone from strength to strength, doubling turnover, creating jobs and expanding globally.
“Follow-on investments are an important part of the BGF model. By supporting businesses that we know and have a proven track-record, we can help them to grow even further.”
Pete Duguid, chief executive officer of STATS Group, added: “Simon and his team at BGF have been very supportive since our first investment. They have not just injected cash into the business but have also offered advice and support during our global expansion.
“The latest funding will help us to maintain the pace of our expansion in the US and the Middle East.”
Peter Duguid founded STATS in 1998 with his sister, Lorraine Porter. The company has since grown to employ 265 people at its head office in Kintore, near Aberdeen, and at its other bases in Inverurie, Kendal, Canada, Malaysia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
Last year STATS invested £500,000 in opening a global training centre at its head office in Kintore to maintain and improve quality and competency standards through in-house specialist training.
Recent work carried out by the group has included isolating the Forties Pipeline System on behalf of Apache North Sea so that a subsea isolation valve could be safely installed on this major pipeline, responsible for transporting over a third of the UK’s oil production.
Leading international geoscience businesses merge to create the Task-Fronterra Group with BGF funding
BGF’s latest investment in Scotland has supported the combination of two leading geoscience businesses, both focused on the oil and gas sector. Aberdeen-headquartered Task Geoscience and Houston-headquartered Fronterra Integrated Geosciences have joined forces to become a global geoscience consultancy – the Task-Fronterra Group. Task-Fronterra has received a financial injection of £3.8m of growth capital investment from BGF, which will take a minority stake.
Task Geoscience was founded in 2001, and Fronterra in 2003. Both are independent geological consultancies providing data processing, borehole interpretation and reservoir modelling services to the major operators in the oil & gas industry. The merger has created the largest independent geoscience company specialising in the use of borehole imaging and core integration, which allows it to improve clients’ understanding of oil and gas reservoirs through analysis of the well bore geology and surrounding faults and fractures. Task-Fronterra has a global footprint, with 10 offices across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The combined business benefits from the knowledge of more than 80 of the most experienced geoscientists in the field.
Task-Fronterra will be run by the founder and CEO of Task, Lawrence Bourke, who is supported by a senior management team from across both businesses. In addition two senior non-executives, Will Davie and John Forrest, have joined the board. Will Davie brings over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry including geosciences, with numerous senior management positions within Schlumberger. John Forrest was previously MD of Talisman’s North Sea business, before which he held several senior roles at Mobil.
Geoscience analysis and interpretation is key to understanding oil and gas reservoirs, which in turn is critical in making extremely valuable decisions on how best to maximise the returns from exploration and production activity. Task and Fronterra are the two market leaders in the sector, and enjoy complementary skills and geographical coverage. Furthermore, the complementary expertise provides the opportunity to assist clients across the world with their understanding of mature reservoirs, carbonates, deep-water fields, and unconventional hydrocarbons. In particular the Integrated Shale Gas Workflow, driven from Task-Fronterra’s understanding of the relevance of fracture networks to productivity of shale gas wells, has been pioneering in the industry.
Task-Fronterra’s proprietary software, attitude, allows clients to analyse and visualise surfaces within and between wells in a unique and intuitive manner. The use of Task-Fronterra’s unique workflows, together with interwell analysis using attitude allows the identification of sub seismic faults and fault systems which can improve certainty in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and reduce the risk of poor well positioning with respect to faults. This is important in mature basins such as in the North Sea where poor EOR well placement can result in early water breakthrough.
CEO of the Task-Fronterra Group Lawrence Bourke, commented: “Task and Fronterra share the same culture of constantly leading our scientific field, and always putting our clients first. Task has driven innovation in borehole image analysis and in software tools for interpretation, while Fronterra is the leading presence in analysing shale gas well bores. The combined business will offer more opportunities for our people as well as providing a broader service to our clients and I’m excited about working to bring together two highly talented workforces and creating new jobs in the future as the company grows.”
“BGF has already invested considerable time visiting our US operations and brings a strong understanding of our business and vision. Its growth capital investment and intellectual capital provide a strong opportunity for our business.”
Mike Sibson, BGF’s Investment Director who has joined the Task-Fronterra Group board, said: “Both Task Geoscience and Fronterra Integrated Geosciences have excellent reputations in the industry, and this is a really exciting opportunity to back a powerful combination. The people in both businesses are market leading in their fields, Lawrence has grown and sold a similar business before, and with senior input from Will Davie and John Forrest we have a really strong board to help the team deliver on their plans.”
Oil and Gas software and services business set for growth with BGF investment
Petrotechnics is the global leader of software solutions to improve frontline operational performance and risk management in hazardous industries.
Based in Aberdeen and with offices in Houston, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, Petrotechnics was founded in 1990 and since then has pioneered proven solutions and successfully helped organizations in hazardous industries increase operational performance and improve risk management in the riskiest part of their operations.
Petrotechnics’ software solutions are used on a daily basis by more than 50,000 personnel from some of the biggest businesses in the oil and gas industry, including the three largest independent Oil & Gas Companies. Petrotechnics software is used in frontline operations across 385 sites on 6 continents. 80% of North Sea and 40% of Gulf of Mexico assets utilise Petrotechnics’ software to help manage their frontline operations safely and efficiently.
BGF’s £6m funding will help fuel the next stage in Petrotechnics’ growth strategy, enabling expansion into new geographies, recruitment of more people, and ongoing investment in the software products.
Petrotechnics’ enterprise software platform, ‘Proscient’, manages the execution of frontline work safely and efficiently to help organisations maintain the integrity of their assets, the safety of their workforce and the sustainable achievement of their production targets. This is a step change for the oil and gas industry, integrating safety, risk management, work planning and efficiency for the first time.
Proscient is designed to reduce the number and length of unplanned plant shutdowns, decrease permit and contractor wait times, more efficient turnarounds, significantly improve plan accuracy and plan attainment and engender a safety culture within an organisation.
Over the past five years the company has generated annual revenues in the range of £10-15 million and has employed more than 100 staff.
Before founding Petrotechnics, CEO Phil Murray worked internationally for BP for 10 years in a variety of technical, operational and managerial roles. The business has won a number of industry awards from organisations including winning the ‘Growth Strategy of the Year’ award at the European Business Awards in 2008.
BGF Investment Director Mike Sibson joined the Petrotechnics Board.
The advisers to the transaction were AAB, KPMG, Burness, Paull & Williamsons, Raeburns and Intuitus.
Richard joined BGF in August 2011 and is based in Aberdeen. His role is to identify and successfully execute investments for BGF then work with portfolio companies to support their growth plans. This involves meeting a range of companies to explain the type of funding that BGF provides, working with them to develop their business plans and then structuring and executing investments. Richard will then typically join the board as either an observer or director.
Richard has 10 years’ experience in investments into small and mid-sized companies. This was initially as an adviser at PwC where he was involved in over 30 corporate and private equity transactions in the UK and overseas and since 2011 at BGF, where he has been involved in seven investments so far, with a particular focus on oil service companies.
Richard has an MA in History from Oxford University. He is married with a daughter and lives in Aberdeen. When he is not running around after his daughter, Richard enjoys running around in the Cairngorms!
“I have had the opportunity to work with companies ranging from FTSE 100s to SMEs – this experience has made me realise my real passion is in working with and supporting fast growing, entrepreneurial companies which is exactly what BGF is set up to do.”
- Keenan Recycling (Board Director)
- Aubin (Board Director)
- Task-Fronterra Group (Board Observer)
- Petrotechnics (Board Observer)
- Magma Global
- STATS Group (Board Director)
- Frontrow Energy Technology Group