Business briefs: Cupid | Rangers | SSE | Schlumberger

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The commercial boss of dating website operator Cupid is stepping down from the Edinburgh-based firm after deciding to return to Australia.

Mark Doughty joined in April 2010 as the group’s chief financial officer. He was replaced by Niall Stirling in January, taking up the new role of commercial director. He previously spent four years at Melbourne-based mobile chat and dating group Jumbuck.

Cupid agreed earlier this week to sell its “casual dating” business, including sites such as Benaughty.com and Flirt.com, to co-founder Max Polyakov in a deal worth £45.1 million.

• Bus tycoon James Easdale, who was appointed as a non-executive director at Rangers last week, has built up a 0.55 per cent stake in the club.

The Greenock businessman’s holding of 357,143 shares was revealed by the Aim-quoted club in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday.

Easdale, along with his brother Sandy, controls bus operator McGill’s through the Arranglen investment company. He said at the time of his appointment last week that he was “proud and honoured to serve on the board of such a great sporting institution”.

• Utilities giant SSE beefed up its financial fire-power yesterday by unveiling a £1.3 billion overdraft with ten banks.

The facility, which is £400 million larger than the overdraft that it replaces, will run until July 2018.

Gregor Alexander, finance director at the Perth-based firm, said: “I am pleased we have been able to refinance and upsize our key corporate liquidity facility to a level appropriate to support the growth of SSE over the next five years and particularly pleased to have the continued support from our existing strong banking group.”

• Oilfield services group Schlumberger has hailed a “rebound” in activity in the North Sea after delivering better-than-expected profits.

The Houston-based group, which employs about 120,000 people, said pre-tax profits for the second quarter jumped 50 per cent to $2.7 billion (£1.8bn), ahead of Wall Street forecasts.

Revenues grew 8 per cent to $11.2bn, boosted by work in the North Sea for producers such as BP and EnQuest. Schlumberger generates more than two-thirds of its revenues outside North America, insulating it from weak US natural gas prices.

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