WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Barr dumps £1.9bn Britvic deal to focus on expansion
IRN-BRU maker AG Barr yesterday walked away from its £1.9 billion reverse takeover of Pepsi bottler Britvic, leaving the door open for further expansion south of the Border. The Cumbernauld-based firm had unveiled an all-share merger with the owner of Robinsons fruit juice last September, creating a soft drinks giant to begin rivalling Coca-Cola in the UK (http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/barr-dumps-1-9bn-britvic-deal-1-2998522|Scotsman|scotsman}).
Scottish Food & Drink: Keeping it in the family – 10 Sept, Edinburgh
20% Early bird discount until 19 July
Join us as we examine the success of Scottish family food and drink business. Hear experts share their strategies for growth and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. If you have an interest in the sector, whether as a producer, policy maker or someone setting up a new business, you can’t afford to miss this event.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Parkmead moves to take control of Lochard Energy
THE Parkmead Group run by Tom Cross moved closer to taking control of North Sea-focused Lochard Energy following a dramatic U-turn by some shareholders who had been opposed to the deal. The erstwhile dissidents who decided to back the takeover included Haydn Gardner, who was ousted from the chief executive’s job at Lochard last year. Mr Gardner’s stake in Lochard is valued at around £880,000 by the proposed transaction (Herald).
Mitsubishi ups investment in Scottish R&D
JAPANESE industrial giant Mitsubishi is launching a new research and development facility in Scotland today. The company’s electrical division has a base in Livingston employing about 450, and is expanding the facility to support the development of new products – which usually takes place in Japan. The company is also celebrating 20 years of making air conditioning systems at the plant (Scotsman).
Babcock reports good start to the year
ENGINEERING and support services giant Babcock, which operates the Rosyth dockyard and the Faslane base in Scotland, said its new financial year had started well. Its order book has remained stable at £12 billion, with all business units maintaining “high activity levels” meaning 80% of anticipated revenue in the year is already contracted (Herald).
MEDIA & LEISURE
Tour firm Rabbie’s on way to £200m turnover
A FIRM which takes small groups of tourists on tours of Scotland has set a ten-year goal of growing the business to a £200 million turnover. The appropriately named Rabbie’s Small Group Tours, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, said sales in the year to the end of February had risen by 40 per cent to £4.8m. Advance bookings are currently running 55 per cent up on 2012, it added (Scotsman).
Tourism: Visitors to Scotland down, spending up
FEWER overseas tourists are visiting Scotland – but they are spending much more money when they do visit, new figures have revealed. The number of overnight stays fell from 325,000 in the first three months of last year to 297,000 over the same period this year, a decrease of about 8 per cent, according to official data from VisitScotland. However, at the same time, spending increased by 21 per cent, from £148 million to £180m (Scotsman).