Business briefs: A Host of new deals for catering firm | Cable ups the ante in diversity hunt | Rosneft TKN-BP deal

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Catering company Host Management has expanded its presence in Scotland after securing contracts from the James Hutton Institute crop research centres in Aberdeen and Dundee and Glasgow’s John Wheatley College.

Earlier this year the Hampshire-based firm, which is headed by Scots-born chief executive Bill Toner, was awarded a three-site catering contract with Glasgow call centre specialist Response. The company also runs the catering provision at The Seafood Company’s Macrae site in Fraserburgh.

Rosneft in £17.5bn TKN–BP swoop

Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, is close to signing a binding agreement to buy half of oil company TNK-BP from the AAR consortium of Soviet-born tycoons for $28 billion (£17.5bn).

“I do not have any doubts. We are working quickly with AAR,” Rosneft president Igor Sechin said. “There are one or two points that need to be worked out.”

Rosneft has already signed heads of terms to buy AAR as part of a $55bn takeover in which it will also acquire BP’s 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest oil company.

Cable ups the ante in diversity hunt

Vince Cable has called for headhunters to publish the numbers of men and women they place in senior roles in a bid to highlight those firms that are “going the extra mile” in finding female candidates.

The business secretary said he would be making the same request to every company and public body in which the Department for Business holds an interest, and urged his fellow ministers to follow suit.

According to Cranfield School of Management, women now account for 17.4 per cent of FTSE 100 and 12 per cent of FTSE 250 board positions.