Business news in brief: WM Donald | RBS | Merlin

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Construction firm WM Donald has won an £8 million contract to provide infrastructure for the first phase of Chapelton, near Aberdeen, Scotland’s largest planned new town in a generation.

The Aberdeenshire-based group beat five others in a competitive tender process. The work will include roads, drainage, services and landscaping to support the first stage of 255 homes.

WM Donald, which currently has about 50 staff, said the contract will bring “significant employment opportunities”.

‘SMEs bear brunt of tax investigations’

Small and medium-sized business (SMEs) are bearing the brunt of a government drive on tax enforcement, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

The firm says additional tax yields from compliance investigations into small and medium-sized businesses by HM Revenue & Customs has jumped 31 per cent in the last year.

Compliance investigations into SMEs brought in £565 million for the taxman in the year to March, up from £434m in 2011-12, the company’s research found.

RBS’s new boss to address Holyrood

The new chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, Ross McEwan, will make one of his first public speeches when he addresses delegates at the Business in Parliament conference in Holyrood in November.

Now in its eighth year, the event brings together politicians and senior representatives from businesses across Scotland.

This year’s event, at which the First Minister will also be speaking, will look at how to maximise economic growth in a time of financial constraint.

Merlin to magic up a £3.5bn flotation

Merlin Entertainments, owner of visitor attractions including Edinburgh Dungeon, is said to be on the verge of unveiling plans for its long-awaited flotation.

The firm, which also runs Legoland and Madame Tussauds, appointed four investment banks to advise it on a stock market debut earlier this summer, after abandoning a previous attempt to go public due to the financial crisis.

Reports suggest it could unveil a £3.5 billion initial public offering this week.