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.
Aberdeen shells out for US asset manager
Aberdeen Asset management has expanded its North American business by buying out a small listed rival for £112 million. The Scottish firm said the price was a premium of £22m over the asset value of Artio Global Investors, described as an asset management holding company (Scotsman).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Shale gas fracking ‘worth £5bn to Scotland’
SCOTLAND is sitting on up to £5 billion of natural gas reserves which could be extracted using the controversial technique known as fracking, financial experts said today. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said Scotland is in a prime position to “capitalise” on shale gas, which is produced by fracking, due to the expertise that already exists in the country’s oil and gas sector (Scotsman).
Demand for office space ‘set to continue’
A north-east property management boss expects further growth in office investments in and around Aberdeen this year amid continued high levels of activity in the oil and gas industry (P&J).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Drinks merger referred to watchdog
A £1.4 billion deal to merge Robinsons squash maker Britvic and Irn-Bru owner AG Barr has been referred to the Competition Commission. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it could not rule out the possibility of higher prices following a tie-up after surveys suggested Britvic’s brands Pepsi and Tango were sufficiently close alternatives to Irn-Bru to raise competition concerns (Scotsman).
Rolls-Royce profits and revenues rise
British aerospace company Rolls-Royce has reported a higher-than-expected rise in full-year profits. Underlying pre-tax profit rose 24% to £1.4bn ($2.18bn; 1.63bn euros), led by a strong performance in its civil aerospace division. The world’s second largest aero engine maker saw revenues grow 8% to £12.2bn (BBC).
Stewart to net £2.3m from I-Design sale
I-Design founder Ana Stewart and her husband are set to pocket £2.3 million by selling the firm to US cash machine operator Cardtronics in a surprise deal unveiled yesterday. The Dundee-based cash machine software firm, which floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2007, looks almost certain to be de-listed after the board unanimously recommended the 60p-a-share deal.