3sun Group secures £10m investment from BGF

BGF (Business Growth Fund), the independent company established to help Britain’s growing businesses, today announced it has made a £10m investment in energy-focused firm – 3sun Group, a specialist provider of products and services to the global energy industry.

Founded in 2007 by Graham Hacon, 3sun Group operates in the oil and gas onshore and offshore wind sectors. It is an established supplier of control panels for offshore oil and gas subsea and platform applications, whilst in the offshore wind sector it installs, inspects and maintains wind turbines.

3sun Group secured the funding following six years of consistent growth and is the first business based in the East of England to secure backing from BGF.

Over the last seven years 3sun Group has grown rapidly, now employing 240 people and 31 apprentices across its headquarters in Great Yarmouth, and its bases in Aberdeenshire, Bergen, Norway, Lubeck, Germany and Esbjerg, Denmark, and is currently looking at other UK and overseas locations. The Group is on track to deliver revenue in excess of £25m in the current year.

The Group’s five divisions include 3sun, which manufactures, installs and maintains topside control equipment for offshore oil and gas platforms, 3sun Inspection Services providing testing and inspection services to the oil and gas and renewables sector, Dawson Energy supplying skilled technicians for the installation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines, and the recently launched 3sun Academy delivering advanced training courses for skilled offshore technicians.

In line with its drive for expansion and development, 3sun Group acquired RRC Controls Services in 2013, an established manufacturer of subsea control systems for the offshore oil and gas industry. The acquisition allows the Group to offer full turnkey engineering solutions to the global subsea market. Through the 3sun Group’s five divisions, it has the collective skills and capabilities to offer a high quality fully integrated service from launch to completion.

The investment of growth capital from BGF will principally support 3sun Group’s plans to accelerate expansion in its Great Yarmouth base and advance further opportunities in the UK and northern Europe.

3sun Group is well placed to benefit from strong growth dynamics in its target markets. The offshore wind market is forecast to grow dramatically, both in the UK as operations and maintenance contracts become available for Round 2 turbines and Round 3 construction commences, and in northern Europe.

3sun Group has an attractive market opportunity in oil and gas where it is focused on maintaining legacy equipment and, where appropriate, replacing it with new systems. It is particularly competitive in meeting niche requirements when it is often uneconomic for large original equipment manufacturers to provide a solution.

To date, BGF has backed a number of companies across the UK operating in the energy and associated services sectors including STATS Group, Aubin, Petrotechnics, Magma Global, and Inoapps.

Graham Hacon, Managing Director of 3sun Group, commented:

“Securing this £10m investment is an enormous achievement for us. The financial support from BGF is testament to the dedication of the entire 3sun Group team and the notable work we are already doing in the industry.

“Established in 2007, the Group has grown steadily and significantly, now consisting of five separate divisions, allowing us to offer our clients a full service from inception to completion.

“This significant sum will prove highly beneficial for 3sun Group in the long run, providing us with the additional capital required to accelerate our capabilities and increase our global presence. We are outgrowing our current premises and expect 50 more employees by March 2015 increasing an extra 200 by March 2017, so we will be investing in a new site for our Group headquarters.

“The investment will also allow us to continue to innovate our high quality service delivery worldwide and bring a variety of new products and service solutions to the marketplace, along with new overseas locations. We look forward to working with BGF in the future and using the investment to drive further business success.”

Chris Hodges, BGF’s Investment Director, added:

“We are delighted to be backing 3sun and supporting Graham and the management team in realising their ambitions for the business. It is testament to Graham’s energy and entrepreneurial vision that he has grown 3sun from a small outfit to its current position as one of the UK’s leading energy services and engineering businesses.

“3sun has consistently won market share on the back of its reputation for delivering high quality service and its responsiveness to customer needs, both in the oil and gas sector and increasingly in the offshore wind market. Boosted by an injection of growth capital, it is in great shape to take advantage of growing demand for its services. Graham has demonstrated his ability to create value through growing businesses organically and through acquisition and we are excited to be partnering with him.”

The investment was managed for BGF by Chris Hodges, Mark Nunny and Jessica Zoutsos with support from Mike Sibson. 3sun Group is banked by NatWest.