Wednesday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

Chancellor George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs. Picture: PA Wire
Chancellor George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs. Picture: PA Wire
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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

George Osborne scrapped plans to cut tax credits for millions of low-paid workers. Unveiling his Spending Review in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said he could abandon the controversial cuts of £4.4 billion due to improvements in public finances. Osborne also said that Scotland would have faced “catastrophic cuts” in public spending had there been a Yes vote in last year’s independence referendum, as revenues from the North Sea are forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility to be down 94 per cent.

Offshore services group SeaEnergy warned it faces a “significant” loss this year due to sustained low oil prices. The alert came as the Aberdeenshire-based firm agreed a working capital funding package, under which it can draw up to £1 million over the next 12 months.

Biopta, a drug development firm spun out of Glasgow Caledonian University, was acquired by a Japanese group for about £5.5m. Yokohama-based Reprocell, a specialist in the development of stem cell technologies, said it was buying the company to strengthen the drug discovery aspect of its business.

Subsea fabrication specialist Isleburn won a contract linked to the world’s largest floating wind farm. Norwegian energy giant Statoil, which earlier this month secured consent for the Hywind development off the coast of Peterhead, said Isleburn will provide 15 suction anchors for the 30 megawatt project.

A fitness equipment retailer founded in the 1980s with a single Glasgow outlet was bought by a German peer in a deal that will create a £63m business. Sport-Tiedje Group paid an undisclosed sum for Powerhouse Fitness as a springboard into the UK market.