Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Tycoon’s £320million sell-off

Post Thumbnail

A north-east businessman has become one of Scotland’s richest people after selling his company to a global supply-chain giant for £320million.

Over three decades, Steven Ferguson has transformed the Kintore-based Ferguson Group from a small North Sea container firm into an international offshore supply firm.

Yesterday, the 54-year-old, who was worth £125million according to the Sunday Times Rich List, confirmed that he had agreed to sell the firm to Australian rival Brambles.

He said the “time was right” to sell up.

He is the sole shareholder in the group and it is understood that once the firm’s debt is discounted, he could walk away with more than £250million from the deal.

Brambles will now pump millions of pounds of capital into the business to help it continue to grow.

“As a proprietary standalone business, the Ferguson Group has grown very significantly in recent years and it was becoming clear that in order to maintain this momentum in the current market, new sources of finance and access to skills was required,” said Mr Ferguson, who now lives in Monaco.

“The time is therefore right for some new owners for the group, owners with the status and financial muscle of Brambles which will enable the business and the people within it, to continue to flourish and grow as part of a broader listed entity.”

Brambles – which is valued at £8.5billion on the Australian stock market – has come under fire for the deal back home, where investors fear the price they paid might be too high.

However, chief executive Tom Gorman defended the deal and paid tribute to the work Mr Ferguson has done.

“Steven Ferguson, had been preparing the next phase of growth for the business, with capital expenditure averaging £24million in the past three years,” he said.

“Steven has run this business extremely well and we’re in the position now, having acquired the business, to deliver that next level of growth.”

He said that Brambles would keep Ferguson’s capital expenditure at its current levels, adding: “We are confident that incremental investment in the business will deliver returns on capital investment commensurate with the rest of the Brambles Group.”

He said Mr Ferguson had an “unbroken 10-year record” in sales and earnings growth, and delivering return on capital. But he said Brambles wasn’t just bringing more cash to the British company.

“We will provide capital here, but if the assumption is that’s all we are providing, I think you’re misinterpreting,” he said.

“We can make the business more efficient.”

Ferguson Group started life as Ferguson Seacabs in Inverurie in 1976, when Mr Ferguson was just 16.

The company has been servicing the oil and gas industry for over 35 years from its bases in the UK (Bridge of Don, Inverurie and Kintore), Norway, UAE, Singapore and Australia.

Each base is equipped to supply the group’s complete range of containers, including dry goods containers, chemical tanks, mud skips, drum baskets and refrigerated modules.

The company has also been making offshore living and working accommodation modules for the oil and gas industry.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts