IT is perhaps surprising that it has taken Lord Willie Haughey, the Glasgow-born businessman, until now before expanding City Facilities Management into Europe.

Admittedly, having formed the company, which earns the bulk of its sales from refrigeration and maintenance services, in 1985, it was fully 22 years before it ventured beyond its native borders, entering the Australian market in 2007.

Further international moves have since quickly followed, though, with Asia, the US and now mainland Europe making up an increasingly global operation.

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Lord Haughey, who is well known for his philanthropic work, admits it wasn’t until a chance conversation took place that Europe came into the forefront of his thoughts.

Given the uncertainty brought by last summer’s Brexit vote, he would easily have looked elsewhere.

But, as Lord Haughey noted, there is likely to be a distinction between how Brexit affects companies which trade across borders, and those which do not rely on imports and exports to do their business. As such, and having already proved it can transplant its operation in other countries, Lord Haughey is confident about spreading the model to a host of European countries. Moreover, by diversifying beyond its core retail business into areas such as medicare and commercial property, it has opened up new areas of growth.

The businessman admits his preference would have been for the UK to remain in the European Union. But even though the vote did not go the way he wanted, it is unlikely to halt City’s continuing growth across the world.