Business briefs: ITF | Grovepoint | Thorntons | Three Stones Media

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THREE overseas energy and engineering companies have signed up to become members of the Aberdeen-based Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), a body that develops technology for the oil and gas sector.

Canadian Natural Resources, Expro and FMC Technologies join a growing roll-call of 30 members, which includes oil majors like BP and Shell and Aberdeen-based energy services firm Wood Group.

ITF executive chairman Max Rowe said: “The new year has started incredibly well for ITF with the enrolment of three new members to our very dynamic group of companies.”

Investor snaps up Israeli algae grower

Investment firm Grovepoint has bought a majority stake in Israeli life sciences company Algatechnologies for an undisclosed sum.

Algatech grows micro-algae in glass tubes in Israel’s Arava desert. The algae are used to make astaxanthin, an antioxidant used in foods.

Leon Blitz, a partner at London-based Grovepoint, said: “We believe microalgae-based products have a great future. It is our intention to build the company by increasing its research and development capacity and expanding its distribution.”

Ex–midfielder made partner at law firm

Former Dundee United footballer Grant Johnson and mechanical engineer John Kydd have joined the partnership at Thorntons, the biggest law firm in Tayside.

Thorntons joint managing partner Craig Nicol said: “Grant and John are valuable assets in our litigation and private client departments.”

Johnson, who has been with the firm for ten years, said: “Football has always played a big part in my life and I still have a coaching role at Brechin City. However, injury meant that I was unable to continue playing on a full-time basis.”

Rastamouse maker inna £10m fund trip

Three Stones Media, the production company behind the BBC’s cult Rastamouse cartoons, has launched an enterprise investment scheme (EIS) to raise £10 million.

The cash will be used to fund further animated projects and is being supported by One World Investments, with advice from Enterprise Private Equity.

One World Investments was one of the previous backers for Rastamouse, which tells the story of a reggae-loving rodent who fights crime along with his friends in Da Easy Crew.

Tax breaks under EIS were introduced in 1994.