Business briefs: Dell | BioCity Scotland | Rexam

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COMPUTER giant Dell and a group led by founder and chief executive Michael Dell reached a deal yesterday that dramatically increases the chances of a $24.8 billion (£16.4bn) buyout going through.

The agreement will see the current offer increased by 10 cents per share to $13.75 and includes paying investors a special dividend.

A vote on the buyout has been rescheduled to 12 September after a meeting to vote on the proposal was adjourned for the third time yesterday. The company’s founder holds a 15.7 per cent stake in the business.

• Property consultancy Thomas & Adamson yesterday signed up as the latest partner for BioCity Scotland, the life sciences incubation centre that opened last year in the former Merck drug factory at Newhouse.

The Edinburgh-based firm will offer advice to tenants on fitting out their laboratories and on moving to bigger premises.

BioCity Scotland managing director Fraser Black said: “It is inevitable that as our fledgling business tenants develop and grow, their laboratory space needs will change. Ultimately they will outgrow our facilities and be looking to move on.”

• Food and drink can maker Rexam yesterday pledged to press ahead with expansion into fast-growing emerging markets such as Central America, India and the Middle East following a “challenging” start to the year.

Caroline de La Soujeole, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, described Rexam’s results for the six months to 30 June as “uninspiring” after revenues edged ahead by 1 per cent to just shy of £2 billion but underlying pre-tax profits dipped by 2 per cent to £169 million.

The fall did not stop the firm from increasing its interim dividend by 14 per cent to 5.7p.

• Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to exit the Australian market by selling a leasing unit with a book value of £2.3 billion.

The reported move to dispose of Capital Finance is part of plans to reduce its international coverage to fewer than ten countries by 2014 from 14 to lower costs and strengthen its balance sheet.

Most of Capital Finance’s lease business is motor vehicle financing and the balance is made up of equipment financing.

The bank is also looking to dispose of an institutional loan portfolio in Australia.