Scottish Business Briefing - Friday August 9th 2013

Picture: Robert Perry
Picture: Robert Perry
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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.

FINANCE

Restructuring costs push Aegon UK into the red

Aegon UK, the Edinburgh-based life and pensions firm, has blamed restructuring costs and the sale of a financial advice arm after posting a loss for the second quarter. The Dutch-owned group, which has shed more than 1,000 jobs over the past two years in a bid to lower its running costs, recently unveiled plans to close all six of its regional sales offices, casting doubts over the future of a further 160 jobs.

ENERGY

Asco eyes major contracts in Africa and Alaska

OILFIELD services firm Asco is on the verge of unveiling major contracts in Africa and Alaska as the Aberdeen-based outfit continues its global expansion. The company, which Doughty Hanson bought from fellow private equity player Phoenix in 2011 for £255 million, has grown through a series of acquisitions, pushing its reach into Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

Cairn Energy takes stake in project off Mauritania

OIL driller Cairn Energy has expanded its African empire by taking a stake in a project to explore off the coast of Mauritania. The Edinburgh-based firm has entered into a “farm-in” agreement with Chariot Oil & Gas that gives it a 35 per cent share of an offshore exploration block measuring more than 12,000 square kilometres and close to where oil has been found.

SeaEnergy tie-up with university to find ways of cutting offshore wind costs

SCOTTISH renewables specialist SeaEnergy has formed a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University - aimed at driving down costs in the offshore wind energy industry. The Aberdeen-based renewable energy services company announced the tie-up yesterday.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Get Juiced liquidated as growth spurt backfires

UP-AND-COMING soft drinks company Get Juiced has collapsed into liquidation after the owner, Frank Pawley, ran out of cash to fund its bid for growth. The Stirling-based firm ceased trading last month and all its employees were laid off, but liquidator Donald McNaught, of accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael, hopes the company can be revived through a sale.

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Jobs lost as engineering firm MK Leslie goes into administration

A civil engineering firm has gone into administration with the loss of about 50 jobs. Shetland-based MK Leslie employed 30 staff at Scalloway and 25 at Dalcross Industrial Estate near Inverness. The firm, which was set up in 1993, had seen a reduction in its workload and had not been paid by other firms which had collapsed.

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