Business in brief: SSE | Premier Hytemp | Thomas Cook

Ian Marchant, who is stepping down as chief executive of Scottish Hydro owner SSE in July, has sold more than £220,000 worth of shares.

Marchant and his wife sold a total of 15,562 shares at 1,463p each. Following the sale Marchant still owns 222,412 shares worth more than £3 million.

The company said the disposals had been made by the couple to utilise their capital gains tax annual allowances.

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In January Marchant said he felt the “time was right for a change for both SSE and me”.

Premier Hytemp appoints chairman

ONE of Sir David Murray’s former companies will today appoint an oil industry veteran as its chairman following last year’s management buyout.

Edinburgh-based Premier Hytemp will name Maurice McBride to sit on its board alongside chief executive Donald Wilson and Dougal Bennett, a partner at private equity firm Dunedin, which backed the £34.5 million deal with Murray.

Wilson said: “Maurice’s track record and deep knowledge of the oil and gas sector will be invaluable to the team.”

Thomas Cook takes fresh look at France

Thomas Cook has decided not to sell its French travel business and will instead kick off a restructuring programme to turn the under-performing unit around.

The world’s oldest travel company, whose shares have risen by more than 80 per cent this year, said it had taken the decision following a review. It now plans to “implement a specific transformation programme for France to improve performance”. The unit includes the Aquatour, Jet tours and Kuoni tour operators.