Having invested in Premier Hytemp in November 2012, we saw an opportunity to develop the business by helping it to expand its engineering skills and capabilities. This was based upon its core knowledge of specialist metal alloys and significant experience in oil and gas metallurgy. When oil and gas market conditions changed dramatically, we developed a different, but equally ambitious, strategy.
When we first started working with Premier Hytemp, there was a real opportunity to help the company change to become a full ‘turnkey’ oil and gas engineering services company. Such a company would provide everything from specialist alloy raw materials through to highly engineered components ready for use. Over £4m was invested in new machinery in the UK and Singapore as we helped Premier become a top-class oil and gas engineering business, serving the sub-sea sector.
Then came the 2014 oil and gas market downturn, which hit the business hard. We worked alongside Premier’s management to realign the strategy, creating a new focus on diversification into markets such as nuclear, aerospace and defence. We also supported the company through the necessary cost-cutting and operational changes to create a much leaner and more flexible engineering business. Throughout, we continued to provide financial help and support to allow Premier to invest in the people and assets it needed to realign its strategy and to grow once more.
Using our network of industry experts, we found and appointed Maurice McBride, a senior private equity and oil and gas veteran with international experience, as Chairman. We also supported the recruitment of a new CEO and additional senior team members throughout the company. We brought in external help to allow Premier to introduce lean manufacturing skills; open up new low cost raw material supply chains and invest in new manufacturing support systems.
Due to the market downturn, we’ve been able to show how supportive we can be as an investor. As CEO Mohit Sreen, says, “The executives at Dunedin bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from other investee companies which, without being intrusive, they offer as a support to our business as we are growing and developing. They have faced most of the issues we face day to day in our business, and are able to bring an external perspective, allowing us to remain objective.”
The diversification programme we helped develop at Premier Hytemp has opened up a number of new market opportunities, and the business is now making highly engineered products for the nuclear, defence and aerospace sectors. The company also continues to gain market share in the oil and gas market through its business in Asia, especially its Singapore office. This is expected to continue to be an area of growth as the oil and gas market slowly recovers and Premier is able to capitalise on its low-cost supply chains and full service engineering capabilities.
Maurice McBride, Chairman, Premier Hytemp