Business news in brief: Morton Fraser | Abertis | Esure | Skrill
Morton Fraser – The Scottish law firm has completed its merger with Glasgow-based Macdonalds Solicitors, announced late last year. The combined firm, known as Morton Fraser, projects turnover in excess of £17 million.
• Abertis – Airports in Belfast and Cardiff have been put up for sale by their Spanish owner. Barcelona-based infrastructure firm Abertis said it was reviewing its 29-strong airport division.
• Esure – Insurance boss Peter Wood is expected to pocket as much as £200m when Esure launches its listing in coming weeks. The insurance firm could raise up to £300m in a £1 billion flotation, with Wood expected to sell half of his 55 per cent stake. Private equity backer Tosca Penta is also expected to benefit.
• Skrill – The owner of UK online payment service Moneybookers is expected to raise £600m in a sale led by Middle Eastern private equity backers, Investcorp.
• Countryside Properties – US vulture fund Oaktree Capital Management is expected to make a bid to buy out Lloyds Banking Group’s 50 per cent stake in one of the UK’s biggest house builders. Kent-based Countryside was taken private in 2005 in a deal backed by HBOS. Any deal would be the latest sign of a revival in the beleaguered housebuilding sector.