News digest

Spin-out support | Capita cuts | Business Stream

Abertay university
University spin-outs will be supported

The Chancellor will inject £20 million into universities to foster more ‘spin-out’ companies based on research in universities.

Spin-out companies raised £5.3 billion in investment in 2021-22 alone. Today’s announcement is designed to leverage more investment.

An independent review – led by a leading academic Professor Irene Tracey and venture capitalist Dr Andrew Williamson – recommends innovation-friendly policies that universities and investors should adopt to make the UK the best place in the world to start a spin out company.

The Chancellor has accepted all the recommendations and will set out his full response as part of the Autumn Statement tomorrow.

Capita job cuts

Business process outsourcing group Capita is shedding another 900 jobs by accelerating its cost-saving programme.

The company announced plans in August to double its operating profit margin over the medium term – from 2.9% in 2022 – with £40m of cost savings planned by the end of 2024.

“We are, today, announcing the accelerated delivery of the efficiency savings announced in our half-year results with a £20m increase in overhead cost reduction to £60m on an annualised basis from Q1 2024,” said chief executive Jon Lewis.

The cuts are expected to focus on indirect support function and overhead roles. The firm expects to take a one-off hit of £27m in its income statement in the current financial year.

Capita said it continues to trade in line with its expectations, with a total contract value of £2.85bn so far this year, up from £2.59bn for the whole of 2022.

Jump Ship takes BrewDog to court

Scottish microbrewery Jump Ship is taking BrewDog to court to stop it selling a non-alcoholic beer with a similar name to its own.

Full story here

Business Stream’s carbon target

Business Stream, the retail arm of Scottish Water, said it will offset its emissions to help it become carbon neutral.

It has announced a partnership with climate action specialist Ecologi which will see it contribute to a project to protect the Matavén Forest in Colombia and provide cooking stoves in Kenya

Jo Dow, Business Stream chief executive, said: “The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing us all and it’s really important to us that as a responsible business we take a pro-active approach to limiting our environmental impact. 

“Our focus is on reducing our emissions and we’ve already made significant strides in doing so.

AquaTerra buy-out

Integrated services provider AquaTerra Group has completed a management buy-out led by managing director Stephen Taylor.

Mr Taylor has acquired the majority share of the Aberdeenshire-based company, while commercial director Nigel Whitton and marine services director Frank Hall have become minority shareholders.

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