Business news in brief

Ocean Group, the logistics, marine and environmental services group, said it had sold its offshore support services business OIL for pounds 328m. OIL supplies marine services to the offshore oil and gas industry with a fleet of around 100 vessels in the North Sea and around the world. In the year to December it made an operating profit of pounds 21.1m and had capital employed of pounds 91.8m.

Finelist has agreed to buy Maccess Group from Heywood Williams for pounds 23m cash plus the repayment of pounds 9.6m debt. The deal will be financed by a placing and open offer of 12.5 million new shares at 345p. It is Finelist's second cash call in three months and will raise about pounds 41m. Maccess, which distributes branded and own-label motor accessories, car care products and replacement parts, made an operating profit of pounds 3.9m in 1996.

In a blow to Airbus Industrie, Delta Air Lines last night named Boeing as its exclusive supplier for domestic aircraft in a deal that could be worth more than $15bn over the next 25 years. Delta announced $6.7bn in firm orders for 106 aircraft through to 2006, and options and rolling options on 538 others. Delta executive vice president, Harry Alger, said Boeing had faced intense competition from the European aircraft consortium Airbus but had won on start-up costs and order flexibility.

Ivory & Sime yesterday announced it would lose pounds 460m in funds under management after BAA's pension scheme decided to move its contract to Mercury Asset Management. BAA's decision follows a spate of resignations at the Edinburgh-based fund manager earlier this year.

Pre-tax profits at brick maker Ibstock fell from pounds 26.1m to pounds 8.3m, hit by poor trading from both its pulp and brick operations and pounds 4m in restructuring costs following the pounds 166m acquisition of Redland's brick manufacturing last year. According to the company, the price of bricks remained at the lowest level for several years.

Geest made an pounds 18m profit on the sale of its banana business to Fyffes, but even before the one-off boost operating profits doubled after good growth in convenience foods, the disposal of loss-making businesses and improved capacity utilisation. Profits before tax and exceptionals rose 73 per cent to pounds 17.3m.

Hanson has made its first acquisition since a four-way split broke up the former conglomerate. The company, which is now focused on building materials, bought Concrete Pipe and Products in the US for pounds 78m. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CP&P made an operating profit of pounds 10m last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower