News in brief

Airbus loan

The European Commission has approved the £200m government loan to Rolls-Royce for development of three new aero engines to power Airbus airliners. The money is to be provided over four years.

ICI homes in

ICI is to acquire the home improvements business of Williams for £350m. The business, which includes brands such as Hammerite, Polyfilla and Cuprinol, will be added to ICI’s paints and coatings division.

Technology booster

Flat loudspeaker company Verity last week raised £10m via a share placing to finance development of the technology.

Bombs away

The RAF this week retired the last of its WE-177 free-fall nuclear bombs, leaving Britain’s nuclear capability entirely in the hands of the Royal Navy’s Trident submarines. The RAF has had nuclear weapons since 1953.

Seagate opens up

US disc drive company Seagate Technology is to invest a further £27m in its plant at Livingston, West Lothian, which designs and manufactures semiconductors. The investment should involve up to 100 new jobs, taking the workforce to 375.

Caravans crash

Yorkshire caravan builder ABI Leisure last week called in receivers. The collapse of the 700-employee firm has been blamed on the failure of a French distributor, and the strong pound.