Business briefs: Kilchoman | Barrhead | Wolfson Micro | I-Design

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ONE of Scotland’s smallest distilleries has secured a £45,000 loan from Clydesdale Bank to fund the construction of a bonded warehouse.

Kilchoman was the first distillery to be built on Islay in more than 120 years and entered production in 2005.

The distillery turned over £1.6 million last year and employs 16 permanent staff, along with some seasonal staff during the spring and summer months.

Managing director Anthony Wills said: “Launching a distillery is a big challenge. Even though the business is growing, some banks ran a mile when we sought investment.”

• Barrhead Travel is opening offices in Aberdeen, London and Manchester to cope with the expansion of its Business Travel Solutions unit.

The travel agency, which was founded in 1975, will also take on a further ten staff at its base in Glasgow after winning a

£7 million contract in London and more work from clients including ClydeUnion, Nikon and Tennent’s.

Stephen McGuire, head of Business Travel Solutions, said: “In recent months, we have won a substantial number of new contracts and we’re keen to increase our regional presence.”

• Wolfson Microelectronics chief executive Mike Hickey saw his pay packet rise by an eighth last year after the Edinburgh-based chip maker increased its underlying gross profits.

Hickey’s total remuneration package rose by 12.6 per cent to $617,000 (£410,000), thanks to a rise in his cash bonus that was linked to the “improved overall financial results”. Finance director Mark Cubitt’s total package dropped to $420,000 from $1 million after there was no repeat of his “specific long-term cash bonus”, which was paid in 2011 but was linked to his performance since 2008.

• The takeover offer for I-Design, the Dundee-based cash machine advertising software firm, turned unconditional yesterday after investors holding 93.6 per cent of the company’s shares accepted the £8.5 million offer from Cardtronics.

Under the deal, which was unveiled last month and which had the backing of the Aim-quoted firm’s management, shares in I-Design will be

de-listed on 8 April.

Scottish Enterprise is expected to pocket about £410,000 from the sale of its shares, while Sigma Capital will receive just shy of £1m.

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