Oteac given boost after Sir Brian Souter invests

Sir Brian Souter with Fife Chamber vice president John Silcock.'
Sir Brian Souter with Fife Chamber vice president John Silcock.'
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FIRE protection specialist Oteac has established a presence in Edinburgh after securing a “multi-million pound” cash injection from investors including Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter.

The Aberdeen-based firm’s office in Leith will mainly focus on its marine division, and the expansion comes as it plans to create up to 13 jobs to support its growth ambitions.

Oteac chief executive Bill Hogarty said the company was also seeking a business development manager to spearhead opportunities in oil and gas markets across Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

Hogarty, a former sales director at Aberdeen-headquartered oil and gas services giant Wood Group, added: “This is an exciting time for the company as we seek to expand our services within Scotland and look to develop our international capabilities.”

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Souter, who co-founded transport giant Stagecoach in 1980, invested in the company as part of a group organised by private equity house Lonsdale Capital Partners, which acquired a majority stake in the business in October 2013. Banking facilities for the deal were provided by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Following a recent visit to the firm’s facilities in Maryculter, the tycoon said he was “hugely encouraged” by the quality of work at the business, which was established in 1985.

Latest available accounts at Companies House show that Oteac made a pre-tax profit of almost £2 million in 2013, an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year, on turnover 8 per cent higher at £9.4m.

Souter said: “It’s quite clear that Oteac are a company which is going from strength to strength and has a robust development plan in place, which underpins our decision to invest.”

Through his Souter Investments vehicle, the entrepreneur also holds stakes in Falkirk-based bus builder Alexander Dennis and Polish transport operator PolskiBus.

Souter Investments recently backed a major investment in AMA (New Town), the upmarket Edinburgh property developer, as part of a deal that saw millions of pounds of bank debt paid off.