The Global Energy Group, which has its main offices in Aberdeen and Inverness, was rewarded last week for topping a league table of the UK’s privately owned companies with the fastest growing overseas sales.
The energy industry service and contracting company’s achievement gained it a trophy, collected by chairman Roy MacGregor, at the International Track 100 awards dinner in London.
Global achieved top ranking in the league with overseas sales growth of 416% from £1million in 2007 to £27.8million last year.
Internationalisation has been a key to the success of the group.
Mr MacGregor said: “Internationalisation has been a central pillar of our strategy as we have grown as a company and developed the services we provide across the markets we operate in.
“That will continue to be the case as we move forward as a business.
“I am confident that we will achieve further success as we continue to develop our business, both in the UK and internationally.”
The group has a broad competence in construction and maintenance of international energy-sector assets.
On any given day it can be repairing a drilling rig, building a subsea manifold, upgrading a topside process module, constructing a liquefied natural gas plant, refurbishing a hydro station or building wave and tidal devices to help meet Scotland’s renewable-energy targets.
It also provides resource management, supply-chain services and inspection.
In 2005, its first year of operation, Global’s turnover was £10million.
It has since developed steadily through organic growth, a series of strategic acquisitions and internationalisation of its services.
Turnover for 2010 is expected to be about £230million.
Earlier this year, Global’s latest acquisition, for an undisclosed sum and out of administration, was the fabrication division of Sovereign Oilfield Group. The deal saved about 400 Scottish jobs and six firms: Caledonian Petroleum Services, Cooltime Engineering Services, Oil Engineering, Labtech Services, Sovereign Dimensional Survey and Forfab.
Mr MacGregor said at the time: “All six companies add to and complement our existing portfolio of services.
“It was clear to us these are well established brands, with skilled people working in markets that have potential to develop and grow.”
Lloyds Banking Group supported Global in the Sovereign deal. It was the fourth acquisition by Global in 12 months funded by the part-nationalised bank.
Mr MacGregor says only 35% of the company’s growth is down to acquisition, however, despite its numerous purchases.
Fabrication and engineering company Isleburn, part of the Global family of companies, has grown organically to become one of the UK’s largest suppliers of bespoke products to the oil and gas industries, operating from 10 units in Ross-shire, Aberdeen and Fife. It is one of 23 companies in the group.
In addition to offices and facilities in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow, Great Yarmouth and around the Cromarty Firth, the group has bases in Dubai, Houston, Trinidad, Norway, Ghana, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai and joint ventures in Croatia, Cameroon, Namibia and Angola.
Mr MacGregor said Global’s international growth had been built on response to demand from customers for its services.
After studying marketing and business management at university Mr MacGregor joined his family’s retail and property company in the late 1970s. The business was sold to Fine Fare in 1986.
Building on previous experience in supplying food to offshore rigs, he went on to establish oil-and-gas contractor MacGregor Energy.
By 1994 the business was turning over £50million a year and was bought by 3i for an undisclosed sum.
Mr MacGregor, 57, launched Global Energy in 2005.
He said: “My son Donald was planning to go to Australia and his mother Morag wanted him to stay at home. I set up Global to give him a job and keep him here. He is now a director, as is my son Iain.
“My other two boys, Alastair and John, are also both in the business.”
Global Energy’s services include the upgrade, repair and maintenance of mobile drilling rigs, vessels and offshore platforms.
The group is also involved in inspection and access to ensure that in the harsh, competitive environment of offshore oil and gas operations that platforms, rigs and vessels are fit for purpose, reliable and safe. Fabrication of subsea equipment, topside modules, skids for the power and process industries and wind, wave and tidal equipment are also part of Global’s work, as are welding and mechanical and electrical engineering services.
Global also has a civil-engineering capability and is a leading provider of managed supply-chain services supporting the international energy sector and other related industries in many parts of the world.
Clients include oil and gas multinationals such as BP, Shell, Centrica and British Gas plus their contractors, such as Transocean.
Mr MacGregor, outside work, is chairman of Ross County FC, and says that after his club reached the Scottish Cup final last year he wants to build on that success.