Specialist oil and gas service provider SPEX Group looking to make a bigger bang with £5m BGF investment

SPEX Group (“SPEX”), the Aberdeen-headquartered oil and gas service provider, is looking to accelerate its expansion in international markets and accelerate its technology development with a £5m growth capital investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund). This is BGF’s fourth investment in Scotland this year.
SPEX, which in 2013 won the prestigious PWC/HSBC Technology Innovation of the Year award and the Northern Star Business Award for Commitment to Innovative use of R&D, was founded in 2009 to provide specialist services to the offshore industry, including explosives, cutting, punching and abandonment capabilities. The group has steadily grown to include the Innovation Centre, a fast-track design and prototyping service which offers unique design and technology development expertise to industry, and SPEX Production for rapid machining utilizing state-of-the-art large Mazak CNC machines.
Clients are using the unique SPEX in-house capabilities to design, develop, test and manufacture ground-breaking energetics and non-energetics technologies for a range of applications, and include solutions to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges.
In September 2013 SPEX also secured fourth place on the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table for the first time, making it one of only four companies headquartered in Scotland to make it on to the league table which ranks Britain’s private technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over three years.
Employing more than 60 staff, the business operates globally from Aberdeen, and has a strong presence in the North Sea. It has an expanding international footprint having worked in more than 20 countries and has recently invested in opening new operations in the US, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. SPEX’s expansion into Saudi Arabia will support the company’s wider growth plans in the Middle East where there is huge potential for its services.
BGF’s investment will enable SPEX to continue to accelerate growth to meet demand and allow SPEX to invest in the development of its own tools and technologies with Third Party customers and recruit service personnel for the international expansion of its downhole services business. BGF has taken a minority stake and BGF Investment Director, Mike Sibson, has joined the SPEX board. Banking facilities are provided by Bank of Scotland.
CEO and founder of SPEX, Jamie Oag, explained:
“SPEX has a unique blend of technology and capabilities in-house. We provide these services for major customers, with an increasing international footprint. At the same time we are applying the same expertise to some real and urgent customer problems in the oil and gas industry. The financial support from BGF can speed up our response, allowing us to invest in people, tools and manufacturing equipment while allowing SPEX to maximise the potential of existing technologies that the company believes will be transformational for well control.
“BGF’s combination of capital and support was perfect for SPEX, and we are very pleased to welcome them on board.”
Mike Sibson, BGF’s Investment Director, said:
“We are delighted to invest in SPEX. It is a great fit for BGF. SPEX has built an excellent position based on a unique set of skills, and has exceptionally strong engineering capabilities. It is an ambitious team with a vision to build an international business. We look forward to working together to achieve the vision. BGF started the year with great momentum, and SPEX is our fourth investment in 2014. We have a strong pipeline of opportunities for the rest of the year.”