Smart battery maker AMTE Power has underlined the value of its Caithness production facility as it plans to develop a “megafactory” in Dundee.

The company said it has made good progress in recent months with the work completed at Thurso allowing it to scale up the production of battery cells for customers. It said this work ultimately underpins preparations to invest in the planned Dundee production plant.

AMTE develops lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries for use in energy storage facilities and electric vehicles. The company expects that the drive to electrify industries such as transportation, to help reduce fossil fuel use, will support strong demand for its products.

NewMed merger 'significantly' less likely as Capricorn caves in


Israel’s NewMed Energy has said its proposed merger with Edinburgh-based Capricorn is now “significantly” less likely to go ahead following a mass exodus of board members at the Scottish company.

HeraldScotland: Capricorn chief executive Simon Thomson resigned with immediate effectCapricorn chief executive Simon Thomson resigned with immediate effect (Image: Capricorn Energy)

Five board members at Capricorn including chief executive Simon Thomson resigned with immediate effect, and two more will follow. Capricorn said it will also postpone the vote on its controversial merger with NewMed.

"The probability for the closing of the transaction has significantly decreased," NewMed said, adding that it "did not give any consent to the decisions reported by Capricorn".

The move came after weeks of mounting shareholder pressure led by activist investor Palliser Capital, one of Capricorn's biggest stakeholders. In a statement the hedge fund welcomed the decision to "enable a better path forward for Capricorn".

Boss of Edinburgh-based Scotch Malt Whisky Society quits role


The managing director of Artisanal Spirits Company, owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, is stepping down from the role.

David Ridley, who steered the company through its stock market flotation in 2021, will be succeeded by finance director Andrew Dane.

HeraldScotland: David Ridley David Ridley (Image: Artisanal)

His departure was announced as Artisanal declared that it expects to exceed revenue forecasts for 2022, amid continuing membership growth. It said revenue for the year ended December 31 is expected to show growth of around 20 per cent on 2021, when it turned over £18.2 million. Artisanal said revenue would be slightly ahead of the consensus revenue forecast of £21.6m.

North Sea minnow IOG backed by Warren Buffett


North Sea-focused IOG has won a fresh vote of confidence from a firm owned by US billionaire Warren Buffett in spite of suffering setbacks in recent weeks.

IOG saw its shares plunge earlier this month after it revealed that it had hit fresh complications in its efforts to develop the vintage Southwark gas find with the CalEnergy Resources business owned by Mr Buffett.

HeraldScotland: A firm owned by Warren Buffett is working with IOG A firm owned by Warren Buffett is working with IOG (Image: Johannes Eisele/ Getty Images)

CalEnergy Resources bought into the acreage concerned in 2019 in a deal that represented a coup for IOG, which is a relative minnow in the industry. The companies set out to develop a range of North Sea gas finds which other firms had decided were not worth the effort involved.

After facing problems with the first fields brought into production in the Saturn Banks area the difficulties IOG encountered on Southwark raised questions about the plan.

However, IOG revealed on Wednesday that it had teamed up with CalEnergy Resources to bid for more exploration territory in the latest North Sea licensing round, which closed earlier this month.

Passengers flock back to easyJet despite inflation woes


Budget airline easyJet is on course for a return to profitability after three years of pandemic losses, with “strong and sustained” demand for travel despite the cost-of-living crisis.

The company reported a return to the traditional January boom in bookings, hitting record numbers on several days. As a result, it expects to beat market expectations for profits this year.

HeraldScotland: During peak booking times in January, easyJet filled five aircraft every minuteDuring peak booking times in January, easyJet filled five aircraft every minute (Image: Gareth Fuller/PA)

“We have seen strong and sustained demand for travel over the first quarter, carrying almost 50 per cent more customers compared with last year,” chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a trading update to shareholders.

“Many returned to make bookings during the traditional turn of year sale where we filled five aircraft every minute in the peak hours, which culminated in three record-breaking weekends for sales revenue this month.”

Michael Lunn: Former Whyte & Mackay chief dies at the age of 80


Prominent Scottish businessman and former Whyte & Mackay chief Michael Lunn has died at the age of 80 following a short illness.

Mr Lunn finished his lengthy business career at Wolfcraig Distillers, where he was a founding partner alongside his son Jamie Lunn, business partner John Moore and renowned master blenders Richard Paterson and Ian Macmillan. He worked up until the day before he passed away.

HeraldScotland: Richard Paterson OBE and Michael Lunn (right), former chairman and chief executive of spirits giant Whyte & MackayRichard Paterson OBE and Michael Lunn (right), former chairman and chief executive of spirits giant Whyte & Mackay (Image: Connor Mollison)

He was with Whyte & Mackay for 17 years up to 1995, latterly as chairman and chief executive. He thereafter held senior management positions at the NHS, Paramount, Unwins Wine Group, Bernard Matthew Farms, Scottish Enterprise, and Tiso.

He joined the founding team of Wolfcraig Distillers in 2020, reuniting with his former Whyte & Mackay colleague Mr Paterson. Mr Paterson described Mr Lunn as a "man on a mission".

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