Vehicle fleet to be expanded

£10m BGF deal aids subsea firm ROVOP’s growth

RovopSubsea company ROVOP has secured £10 million from the bank-backed Business Growth Fund to help its expansion.

The deal was announced on the day that Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing opened the company’s £4.2m headquarters in Westhill, Aberdeenshire.

The 18,500 sq ft site allows ROVOP’s fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles, used by the offshore oil and gas and renewables industries, to be managed from one integrated hub.

ROVOP has invested more than £40m in its fleet since it was founded in 2011. The investment from BGF will allow the company to grow its fleet to about 50 vehicles over the next three years.

Earlier this month, it opened its western hemisphere headquarters in Houston, Texas, hiring experienced industry experts Scott Wagner, Brett “Gonzo” Eychner and Wayne Betts to lead the business, which has already served customers in both North and South America.

Mike Sibson, who will join the ROVOP board as investor director for the BGF, said: “ROVOP is a highly professional operation with a strong business model based on the best service with the best technology.  BGF’s investment will support growth of the fleet both from the UK operation, but also in the Americas where we see significant opportunity.

“Since founding the business less than four years ago, Steven Gray [CEO] and Mark Vorenkamp [chairman] have assembled a very experienced team from across the subsea industry, and we are confident they will continue to enjoy success.”

Steven Gray, chief executive at ROVOP, added: “We’re delighted to be bringing BGF on board.  As a long-term investor with access to significant capital and good oil and gas experience, it is well placed to support ROVOP through the next phase in our development.”

Ken McHattie will also join the ROVOP board as a non-executive director. He is a qualified solicitor and chartered accountant and plays an advisory role to various companies in the oil and gas sector.  He is currently vice president of ICAS, the professional body of Chartered Accountants.

BGF is an independent company with up to £2.5 billion in capital and is backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered. BGF is managed autonomously with an independent management team.

Pictured: Mark Vorenkamp, Mike Sibson and Steven Gray

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