Gordon McKie pitches up as chief of Cashmaster

Gordon McKie. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Gordon McKie. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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FORMER Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) chief Gordon McKie has taken the helm of a Fife-based company that specialises in cash counting machines following the retirement of its founder.

McKie, who was appointed as chairman of Aviva Premiership rugby club Sale Sharks in January, said he wanted to turn Cashmaster International into a “world-class” technology firm.

He takes over as chief executive from Neil Hunter, who set up Cashmaster in 1987. Hunter and his wife Maureen haveretired after selling their shares to a management buy-in team for an undisclosed sum.

Two years ago, the company won the largest order in its history with a $2.75 million (£1.6m) deal to supply 10,500 devices to an unnamed customer in the US.

McKie, who headed the Hong Kong Football Association after leaving the SRU in 2011 following a six-year stint, said: “Our vision is to transform Cashmaster into a world-class design- and technology-led company which is headquartered in Scotland.

“It is our intention to invest in Cashmaster in order to drive new product development, both for existing and emerging markets. To that end, we are looking forward to working closely with existing and new customers.”

Along with his interests in rugby, McKie was involved in a London-based consortium that expressed an interest in buying Hearts after the club fell intoadministration last year.

Sale Sharks is owned by Edinburgh businessman Brian Kennedy, who tried to buyHibernian in the 1990s. Kennedy and the Blue Knights consortium withdrew an offer for Rangers two years ago.

Cashmaster designs and builds its machines at its base in Rosyth and employs about 70 people. Rather than mechanically counting notes and coins, its devices work by weighing money. As well as banks and retailers, its customers include schools, which use the machines to count cash and supermarket vouchers from the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

In a previous interview with The Scotsman, chief financialofficer Douglas Ross said exports make up the bulk of the firm’s business. Its devices are used in more than 8,000 coffee shops across the US.

Most of the company’s sales in the UK come from supermarkets, while the banking sector is its strongest market in Australia.