Scottish Business Briefing - Wednesday 25 September, 2013

Pensions group Aegon UK is planning to create more than 100 jobs at its headquarters in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Pensions group Aegon UK is planning to create more than 100 jobs at its headquarters in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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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

Aegon UK boosts Edinburgh workforce

PENSIONS group Aegon UK is planning to create more than 100 jobs at its headquarters in Edinburgh to support the “unprecedented” growth of its online service. The firm, which last month revealed that the closure of all six of its regional sales offices had pushed it into the red during the second quarter of the year, is seeking senior management for its Aegon Retirement Choices (Arc) platform, along with specialist investment administrators and business analysts (Scotsman}.

Aberdeen linked to bid for Widows fund arm

ABERDEEN Asset Management has become the latest fund manager to be linked to a bid for Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP). Such a deal would give a massive boost to Aberdeen’s asset base, by potentially adding the £145.8 billion managed by SWIP, which is currently owned by Lloyds Banking Group, to the £201.7 million that is under Aberdeen’s control (Herald).

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Miller looks to flotation as option for Blackstone exit

MILLER Group, Scotland’s biggest housebuilder, is weighing up a possible £400 million flotation, trade sale or demerger of the business to capitalise on the recovery in the UK housing market. The Miller family gave up majority control of the business to Blackstone, the private equity giant, in late 2011 and it is understood the company has held a “beauty parade” of possible financial advisers to consider all options (Scotsman).

Havelock losses widen during ‘quiet’ first half

Shopfitter Havelock Europa today said it was looking forward to a busy second half after a lull in trading saw its losses almost double during the first six months of the year. The Fife-based firm, which also fits out classrooms, reported revenues of £34.2 million for the six months to 30 June, 9 per cent lower than the same period last year, which it blamed on orders “being more weighted than normal to the second half” (Scotsman).

Watchdog to chip away at Breedon deal

Quarries, asphalt plants and concrete-making sites in Scotland face an uncertain future after a decision to refer a £34million industry takeover to the UK’s competition watchdog. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said yesterday it wanted the Competition Commission (CC) to investigate the recent acquisition of certain assets of Aggregate Industries by Breedon Aggregates (P&J).

Read all today’s transport and industry news from scotsman.com

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

Software firm Picsel placed into liquidation

A SCOTTISH software firm once touted as one of the brightest technology prospects in the country has entered insolvency proceedings for the second time inside five years. Picsel International, which has a range of intellectual property and patents relating to apps and mobile phone software, has now been placed in provisional liquidation while subsidiary SmartOffice Technologies is in administration (Herald).

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