MacGregor’s youngest son at heart of a secondary demerger of family businesses

The youngest son of Highland businessman Roy MacGregor is at the heart of a secondary demerger of the family businesses. Last year Inverness-based Global Energy Group (GEG) split in two, with about 40% of its business becoming subsidiaries of a new investment company, Envoy and Partners, owned by two of his sons and a Japanese investor. Iain MacGregor, 38, became managing partner and 50% owner of Envoy, which also has its headquarters in Inverness. Younger brother John MacGregor, 33, and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui each took a 25% stake.
Envoy has now announced the divestment of its recruitment portfolio, comprising Aberdeen businesses Global Resources Network, Maris Subsea and Granite Recruitment (formerly Expertec).

These three firms employ about 25 people in total and would typically be turning over around £20 million in a year without Covid-19.

The deal marks a minor reorganisation of the Envoy group, with John MacGregor trading equity in exchange for the demerged operations of the overall portfolio. Envoy chief executive Iain MacGregor increases his stake to 57% and Mitsui’s shareolding rises to 28.5%, with John MacGregor now owning 14.5%.

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John MacGregor said: “We have enjoyed the period of ownership under the Envoy portfolio but the growth opportunity in the recruitment businesses could only be realised with this independent view. “We have begun to add depth to the business through the acquisition of Granite last year, and now have our sights set on further exciting developments. The capital structure in place will enable the team to meet these ambitious growth plans.” Iain MacGregor added: “Since forming Envoy 18 months ago, John and I have maintained a view that the recruitment portfolio should be demerged from the rest of the group.

“Its growth ambitions and funding requirements will benefit from independence, whilst bringing greater focus to the Envoy growth agenda.”

John and Iain MacGregor are showing the same entrepreneurial streak that helped their father, Invergordon-born Roy, create a major force in the north and north-east energy industry supply chain.

The two brothers have ambitious growth plans for their respective business portfolios.

Mr MacGregor Sr is the founder and chairman of Global Energy Group (GEG), which has operations in Aberdeen, Inverness, Invergordon and Evanton. It also runs Nigg Energy Park, on the Cromarty Firth.

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GEG’s 67-year-old majority shareholder created the company in 2005 to give another son, Donald, a job and keep him at home rather than see him emigrate to Australia. Envoy was formed in February 2019, when Iain and John demerged 21 companies from GEG, and it now employs 1,500 people globally, providing products and services to the utility, power, chemical and oilfield sectors. John’s newly demerged group, based in Dyce, Aberdeen, provides crew for oilfield operations in the North Sea and beyond. The latest member of the MacGregor clan to start building his own business empire holds a majority stake in the divested companies, with group managing director Steven Dunbar helping to drive forward growth plans.
Iain MacGregor said: “We had planned to safely extract the entity for some time, and I expect John, Steven and the great team throughout this portfolio will continue to build an exciting business – even through these tough market conditions.”