June 6, 2017 / 6:31 AM / 3 years ago

Aggreko's finance chief Cran to quit for Forth Ports role

(Reuters) - Aggreko Plc, the world’s largest temporary power provider, is losing its respected finance chief Carole Cran, who it said would join Scotland’s Forth Ports Ltd.

Cran, described by Citigroup analysts as “an excellent CFO and a super Aggreko ambassador for many years”, would leave within the next 12 months as part of an orderly handover, Aggreko said on Tuesday.

Aggreko, whose generators power major events and cover electricity shortfalls, said it would begin looking for a successor to Cran, whose departure comes less than a month after its managing director of power solutions left.

“The timing is unhelpful having seen the Power Solutions MD change last month and may lead some investors to question how successful the current strategy implementation is going,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a client note.

Aggreko shares were 0.114 percent lower at 873.65 pence at 0943 GMT following the announcement from Aggreko.

Cran, an accountant who has also held senior roles at BAE Systems, has been with Aggreko since 2004 and became finance head in June 2014, with an mandate to assist the then newly appointed CEO Chris Weston to continue Aggreko’s growth.

However, Aggreko’s stock has nearly halved in value since then, as the firm has been has been hit by lower demand for its generators from North American oil and gas customers, who cut spending after commodity prices slumped.

More recently, it has also had to price in a “significant” discount to secure a 200 megawatt contract in Argentina — its single largest market. This move lead Aggreko to caution that it expected 2017 profits to be lower than a year ago.

Cran did not immediately respond to a request for comment via LinkedIn on her decision to quit Aggreko for a similar role at Forth Ports, but a person familiar with the matter said had taken up the job to be closer to her family in Scotland.

While Aggreko is headquartered in Glasgow, Cran’s role requires her to spend considerable amount of time in London.

Edinburgh-based Forth Ports owns and operates eight ports on the Firth of Forth, the Firth of Tay and the Thames.

“(Cran) will be sorely missed by investors and analysts alike,” Citigroup analysts said in a note.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Alexander Smith

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