Business news in brief 28/03/2012

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A roundup of the latest business news

Duke’s charity in Edinburgh lease

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has signed a lease on premises at Rosebery House at Haymarket in Edinburgh.

The charity, which was represented by property consultancy DTZ, has signed a ten-year agreement to take 1,737sq ft of space in the building. The Aviva Investors-owned property is also home to Atmos Consulting, Network Rail and Sustrans Scotland.

Craig Watson, associate director of agency Jones Lang LaSalle, said the building was proving popular given most demand in Edinburgh is for on accommodation of 2,500sq ft or less.

McPherson quits as Aegon media chief

Lesley McPherson, communications director at life and pensions group Aegon UK, has decided to leave the Edinburgh-based company after 12 years to take up other opportunities.

She has overseen the media function during a tricky two years for the business as it underwent a massive restructuring programme.

“I’ve decided it’s the right time for me to seek a new career challenge,” she said.

She will leave at the end of June and will be replaced by Mark Locke as head of media relations.

Invocas extends sale timetable

Insolvency services group Invocas yesterday said it was extending the planned timeframe for a sale of the company.

The Edinburgh-based company, which de-listed from the Alternative Investment Market in 2010, said it had been encouraged by interest from potential buyers since a formal sale process began last month but that the process was taking longer than expected.

The board is now targeting a deadline of the end of May to allow interested parties more time to carry out due diligence and agree terms.

Babcock sailing on with healthy trade

Engineering support services company Babcock International yesterday said that the trading environment for the last year had been positive and it hoped to build on its success in the coming year.

In a trading statement, the company said customers facing ongoing financial and budgetary constraints had looked to outsource their support requirements to achieve cost-savings.

Babcock, which maintains Royal Navy submarines and has major Scottish operations at Rosyth, is due to announce full-year results on 15 May.