The business on...Sir Bill Gammell, Chief executive, Cairn Energy
Tuesday 17 August 2010
Do I know him?
Possibly. He's in the news as the man who has just signed off on his company's $8.5bn deal to sell a majority stake in its Indian oil business to the mining giant Vedanta. But you might just as well remember him as a Scottish rugby international – he played for the Bravehearts five times on the wing – or the man to whom George Bush and Tony Blair turned to check each other out.
Bush and Blair, really?
Absolutely. Sir Bill was a pupil at Fettes College, the Edinburgh private school, with our former prime minister, you see (in fact, they were leading lights of the debating society). And because his father had invested in the Bush family oil company back in the Fifties, when Sir Bill wanted to learn about the business in the Eighties, the Bushes were his first port of call. He and George W Bush became firm friends. Naturally, once Messrs Blair and Bush began dreaming of high office, they asked about each other via Sir Bill.
A man of influence, then?
It would seem so, but not just in the political sphere. Sir Bill really has built Cairn into an impressive operation. He founded the business in 1981 once his rugby career came to an end and has built it into Britain's fourth-largest oil and gas company. Yesterday's deal should enable it to hand shareholders a chunky special dividend and provide it with all the cash it needs to pay for ongoing exploration in Greenland.
Is another big score likely?
Well, not much is going to beat scoring four tries for Scotland on his debut against Japan. But having already struck oil several times, most noticeably in Rajasthan, India, Sir Bill has high hopes for Greenland. Satellite pictures appear to show shimmering in the waters around the coast of Greenland, which could be oil oozing out of the sea bed.
Still, this is a risky business?
You're not joking. Sir Bill's political connections might come in useful for Cairn's bid for work in Iraq, but this is scary stuff. So too is the project in Nepal where Maoist rebels have caused a few difficulties.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...