Subsea Firm ROVOP Receives Funding Boost (UK)

A rapidly evolving and award winning new subsea business has secured £60,000 in public sector funding to support its business growth and expansion overseas.

The cash boost from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International will help ROVOP, based in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, to both explore international business growth opportunities and undertake business improvement activities. Specifically, the money will allow the hiring of a manager for international business development opportunities.

This latest support comes hot on the heels of the nation’s finance minister John Swinney announcing an investment from the Scottish Loan Fund (SLF) of £1.6 million to the company, with an option to drawdown up to £5 million in total.

Added to that, ROVOP has secured £3m of other funding, including significant support from RBS. The total of £8m of finance allows the company to deliver on the first stage of its growth plan.

ROVOP specialises in the supply of state of the art Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) solutions to the offshore oil & gas and renewable industries, where its unmanned submarines are used to complete tasks and gather information underwater.

Operating in a niche area, the business provides first-class equipment and pilot technicians to ensure ROV projects are delivered safely and efficiently. ROVOP is unique in that it is 100% focused on ROV services and therefore provides genuine expert capability.

The position of manager for international business has been established with a view to securing the company’s growth in developing energy regions while making further progress in the ever expanding offshore wind market.

SLF funding will enable ROVOP to acquire additional ROVs to meet the growing demand that has seen the business secure long-term contracts with major marine contractors. The SLF was established by the Scottish Investment Bank, a division of Scottish Enterprise, to help address a specific funding gap in the SME market across Scotland, and is managed by Maven Capital Partners.

Steven Gray, managing director of ROVOP, said: “The support of Scottish Enterprise, RBS and SLF investment is an endorsement of ROVOP’s significant growth plans and will be key to enabling the business’s continued expansion. This investment allows us to support clients with new equipment at a time when they are demanding the responsive and reliable service that our team can provide.”

“The focus on international markets is a vital step for us. Demand for our products and expertise continues to grow both at home and abroad and the appointment of someone who can manage our international business is part of our plan to match our geographic reach to that of our international client base.

“The ability to operate the most modern and capable ROVs is vital to fulfil contracts available to us in the global subsea market. We are seeing significant growth in challenging subsea environments, such as deepwater and offshore wind farms, where strong currents and constant scouring provide a completely different set of challenges to our clients.”

Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International are economic development arms of the Scottish Government.

Maureen McChlery, ROVOP’s account manager at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “ROVOP is a great example how we can work with an ambitious Scottish company to accelerate its growth plans and help it secure access to growth finance. We’ve worked with the company since March this year through our account management approach.

“As well as working with the management team on strategy planning for future growth, there are a number of exciting international growth opportunities to explore, which the new manager for international business position will help with immensely.”

In less than one year since it began trading, ROVOP’s rapid growth has already seen the company win Promising New Business at the 2012 Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise as well as being named a finalist for Best New Enterprise at Subsea UK’s 2012 business awards.

The company’s growth is highlighted by the growth in personnel to more than 30 in nine months.

ROVOP was set up in 2011 by Mr Gray, technical director Scott Freeland and chairman Mark Vorenkamp.

Press Release, August 08, 2012

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