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Coretrax in £3.5m loan funding boost

A Scots oil and gas well technology firm has secured £3.5 million expansion funding to help it capitalise on booming investment in the industry in areas such as the Middle East.

demand: Kenny Murray, left, thinks the firm can meet global trade..
demand: Kenny Murray, left, thinks the firm can meet global trade..

Coretrax Technology won the funding commitment from the Scottish Loan Fund, which is managed by Maven Capital Partners.

Aberdeen-based Coretrax will use the money to support efforts to maintain its rapid growth by winning more business in international markets and developing new products.

Led by managing director Kenny Murray, Coretrax believes it is well placed to benefit from the efforts of oil and gas companies around the world to boost production to meet strong demand.

Founded by Mr Murray in 2008, Coretrax develops products that can be used for completing wells.

This includes tasks like removing left over drilling fluid to help maximise production efficiency or placing cement plugs in wells that are being abandoned.

Glasgow-based Maven said the business has built a strong customer base in the North Sea and in areas such as Africa.

Following significant contract wins in Saudi Arabia, Coretrax will use some of the funding to help expand its existing Middle East operation.

Mr Murray said the funding deal followed an immensely successful year for the company in 2013, when it recorded £3.3m turnover.

The firm has 15 employees.

"Thanks to this investment, we look to meet and surpass targets in the coming months," said Mr Murray, who has a majority stake in the business.

Kieran Good, investment manager at Maven, said Coretrax provided an excellent example of the kind of high growth business that could benefit from the flexible long-term capital the Scottish Loan Fund can provide. The fund opened for business in 2011, with £55m from Scottish Enterprise.

The pot increased to £113m after the fund won commitments from private sector investors including Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Clydesdale Bank, Santander and Strathclyde Pension Fund.

The fund has committed more than £37m in total to date.

Around half of the 15 firms it has backed are active in oil and gas markets, including Coretrax.

Other recipients have included Phuel Oil Tools and Fletcher Shipping, which provides offshore supply services.

With an office in Aberdeen, Maven has developed expertise in the oil and gas sector.

Separately, the private equity firm has demonstrated its confidence in the outlook for the economy by leading the £7.25m management buyout of a Lancashire-based company that produces a variety of promotional items such as mousemats and keyrings.

Maven said the SPS business, which was bought out of the 4imprint Group, is well placed to take advantage of increasing demand for its products as advertising budgets increase due to improving market conditions.

Led by chief executive Philip Morgan, SPS has £17m turnover and employs more than 200 people.

Earlier this month, Maven Capital Partners' managing partner, Bill Nixon, noted there had been an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions activity in the small and medium sized enterprise sector on which the firm focuses.

Describing 2013 as the first year of real recovery since the financial crisis, he said activity had been boosted by an improvement in the market for initial public offerings on the stock market and the fact banks had starting lending again.

Mr Nixon said the outlook for deals in 2014 was bright.

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