Forgacs honors founder’s legacy


Following the death of owner Stephen Forgacs in July last year, the management of Forgacs, the iconic ship repairing company, has already moved on in attempt to emulate the success of its ingenious founding father.

Image via Flickr user UNC – CFC – USFK
Image via Flickr user UNC – CFC – USFK

According to The Newcastle Herald, the company has already started its restructuring processes and recently revealed its new branding in honor of Stephen Forgacs and his legacy.

“The brand is recognition and celebration of 50 years and it’s a celebration of the pathfinder that Stephen was and that we have entered a new era with the family taking the business forward,” said Chief Executive Lindsay Stratton.

Mr. Stratton spoke about the loss of Mr. Forgacs and the direction that the company will be taking in future.


“Stephen was quite a hero, like William Wallace in rallying troops and getting on with the job. He was someone who was very enigmatic and everywhere, that’s the way he did business.”

“Our new direction is to continue in engineering but get more up the value chain and into intelligent engineering.”

The late shipbuilding pioneer’s children, Pam Farragher, Liz Burgess and Stephen junior, who are directors and equal shareholders in the company, have been consulting with both internal and external parties with regards to their respective roles in the company’s future following their father’s death.

Mr. Stratton said that unlike their father, the trio will not be running the company’s operations, but will instead invest in it and direct the strategy, leaving the operational part of the business to the management.

The company is planning a shift in strategy, with greater emphasis on innovative techniques and use of clean technologies, like dewatering or clean energy.

This new direction is seen as a response to the shift in the marketplace, which, according to Mr. Stratton, has become tough on EPCMs (companies specializing in engineering, procurement and construction management) as of late.

“There is a shift away from big organizations using these types of consultants, who use other companies to manufacture their designs, to wanting a complete package,” he said.

With regard to the shipbuilding and defense contract front, Mr. Stratton welcomed the election of the Coalition government, which is expected to provide political stability to industry.

Forgacs’s current navy contracts will keep them busy until 2015, with the company now eying contracts for specialty vessels and patrol boats.

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