Masaood John Brown used to be a joint venture partner of John Brown Engineering, a Scottish company. When GE bought John Brown, the Al Masaood Group didn’t want to sell its 51 percent interest and it now wholly owns Masaood John Brown.
Under the new strategic arrangement, SoEnergy will help MJB sell its turbine rebuilds in Latin America and together the two will pursue projects where they can sell energy.
SoEnergy supplies temporary power plants and also builds permanent power plants that it will turn over to a client on completion or run for a customer.
For its power-generating projects, the Doral company mostly has employed engines, rather than large turbines.
“Using the turbines will basically put us at another level,’’ said Hall, “and enable us to expand our product mix.’’
Meanwhile, MJB will be better able to compete for a piece of the $240 million turbine overhaul market in Latin America.
The new strategic relationship with MJB International isn’t the only change at SoEnergy. It also has a new name. Until recently it was known as Energy International.
“We didn’t want such a generic name. There are several other ones out there,’’ said Hall. So it decided to adopt SoEnergy — the name used by its subsidiaries in Argentina and Brazil. “It was similar to our old name, but different enough to differentiate.’’
SoEnergy has around 1,000 employees worldwide, including 40 at its Doral headquarters where it hopes to add another 10 this year.
“This is really a transitional year for us,’’ said Hall. “We’re trying to bring in investors and we’re trying to create a worldwide company.’’
A business of her own
Where would a woman entrepreneur most likely thrive in Latin America and the Caribbean?
Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay have the best environments for female entrepreneurs, according to a new index from the Economist Intelligence Unit. It was commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund.
To create the Women’s Entrepreneurial VentureScope index, 20 countries were analyzed for factors that most affect women’s success in entrepreneurship. Among them: business operating risks, the entrepreneurial environment, access to financing, educational advancement by women and the availability of business training and social services such as childcare.
“Latin American women are among the most entrepreneurial on the globe,’’ said Nancy Lee, general manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund, which supports economic growth and poverty reduction in the region. But, she said, women are “still greatly underrepresented” as owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
Chile clinched the top spot in the index because of low economic risks, its strong supplier diversity initiatives and the availability of social services. Peru was a close second because of its strong business networks and technical support programs for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Costa Rica, which ranked sixth overall, had the highest-rated business climate for women entrepreneurs in Central America. With high education levels and good access to financing for women, Trinidad and Tobago ranked first among Caribbean nations and eighth overall.
Havana business fair
The Havana International Fair, a showcase for business products from around the world, will be held Nov. 3-9 at the ExpoCuba fairgrounds on the outskirts of Havana.
U.S. companies began participating in the fair after the United States eased embargo restrictions in 2000, allowing the export of food, agricultural products and medicines to Cuba. Among U.S. brands that were on display at the annual fair last year were Kellogg’s, Hormel, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
During the 2012 edition of the fair, more than 3,000 companies from 62 countries participated with a goal of winning contracts with the Cuban government.