Business briefs: MacSween | Santander | DC Thomson | Dignity

IOMART chief executive Angus MacSween has sold more than £286,000 worth of shares in the Glasgow-based IT company.

The cloud computing specialist said MacSween exercised options over 127,388 shares at 225p each. He retains a 19.1 per cent stake in the firm he founded in 1998. Sarah Haran, who heads the firm’s web hosting businesses, sold 100,000 shares at the same price. Iomart unveiled a 66 per cent leap in first-half profits in November.

Santander says no talks on Clydesdale

Spanish banking giant Santander has played down speculation of a bid for Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

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Shares in the British banks’ parent National Australia Group fell back yesterday after enjoying their sharpest hike in seven months on Monday following reports at the weekend that Santander UK was about to launch a £2 billion bid. The rumours have prompted more calls for NAB to do a deal.

Printing jobs at risk in DC Thomson plan

Publisher DC Thomson last night unveiled plans to shift production of its Aberdeen newspapers to Dundee, putting 46 jobs at risk.

In a memo to staff, Ellis Watson, chief executive of publishing, said titles including the Press & Journal could be published at its new operation in Kingsway, Dundee, but added that the company “will always have a base in Aberdeen” for its editorial and commercial teams.

Funeral firm Dignity buys rival for £58m

Dignity, the listed provider of funeral services that has its roots in Glasgow, is to expand its presence in northern England after agreeing to buy a Yorkshire-based rival for £58.3 million in cash.

The firm said it will launch a share issue to raise about £24.2m to help fund the acquisition of Yew Holdings, which has 40 funeral locations and two crematoria. Yew made a £5.2m pre-tax profit last year.