North East Connected

Business leader steps down to explore new investment opportunities

The head of a successful North East-based industrial services business has announced his departure to pursue new business investment and involvement opportunities.

After 15 years as managing director of the Pyeroy Group and overseeing its transition to Wood Group Industrial Services following the sale of the business in 2013, Hugh Pelham has announced that he is leaving the company.

An Oxford University engineering graduate with over 30 years of experience with building, civil engineering and industrial service contracts, Hugh Joined Pyeroy in 2002 and remained with the business after it was taken over by John Wood plc in 2013.

When he joined Pyeroy, it employed around 600 people, had sales of £35m and was predominantly known for its expertise in marine painting.

Now the business has over 2,400 people with revenues of around £145m and has risen to become one of the UK’s most profitable industrial service companies operating in a variety of market sectors.

Hugh said: “I am very proud of what has been achieved over the last 15 years and it has been a privilege to work with some fantastic people along the way, but the time is now right for me to do something new.

“Pyeroy was successful in painting many of the country’s iconic structures such as Tower Bridge and the Forth Rail Bridge, as well as many of the Royal Navy’s most prestigious ships. This includes the two new aircraft carriers that will be coming in to service in the next few years.

“Since the successful sale to John Wood Group plc the business has continued to grow as part of a much larger group, securing prestigious industrial maintenance contracts for Shell and others in the pharmaceutical, petrochemicals and process sectors. The acquisition has been a great success for Wood Group and has repaid its investment.”

Hugh has now established Dark Blue (Holdings) Ltd. as a corporate investment vehicle and is looking to identify potential new funding and growth opportunities among the region’s business community.

Before joining Pyeroy, Hugh was previously a regional director with John Mowlem & Co. plc and a director of Johnson Controls Limited.  He is now looking to apply his broad experience in the industrial services, offshore engineering, property, construction and marine sectors to new business opportunities.

He said:  “Being part of such a large and successful organisation as the Wood Group was a tremendous experience, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the autonomy, responsibility and involvement that comes with running a privately owned business.

“Dark Blue Holdings has therefore been established with a view to identifying new investment opportunities, and I’m already looking at some very interesting potential ventures.

“The scope of any new involvement will depend completely on individual circumstances and could range from investment support or to a more hands-on management role. I am very much looking forward to the next stage of my career and identifying interesting new business opportunities that would benefit from investment and support.”

Taking over from Hugh will be Derek Byrne, senior vice-president UK, who joined Pyeroy seven years ago and who will now act as interim president of Wood Group Industrial Services.

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