Aggreko

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of John Mason John Mason Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that Aggreko is to become another large-scale Scotland-based listed company that will lose its independence through a takeover. (S5O-05134)

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

As a company that is seeking to be at the forefront of the green technology challenge, Aggreko exemplifies our ambitions for a low-carbon economy and increasing Scottish innovation.

I note that the company is positive about the role of TDR Capital and I Squared Capital in developing the business further and building on its significant international success. That is to be welcomed, but the Scottish Government will, of course, continue to engage with the company and new investment partners to establish what more we can do to secure and grow the company’s operations in Scotland.

Photo of John Mason John Mason Scottish National Party

Does the minister share my frustration that, when companies are taken over in Scotland, we lose the top jobs, the headquarters, the decision making, and the ancillary jobs, such as those in legal, accountancy and hospitality departments? Can the Government do anything to oppose such takeovers?

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

I a m sure that John Mason will understand that, with the powers that we have, the answer to his second question is no. The other perspective that I will articulate is that inward investment has, of course, an important role to play in our economy.

On the broad sweep of John Mason’s question, I say that much of that would concern me, so we would seek to act where necessary. However, in the context of the question being about a specific company—people from Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven might be listening; as a son of the rock, I know the area well—it is important to say that there is no indication that that will happen in this case. As I said, will we will continue to engage with Aggreko to make sure that we support the company not just for the benefit of the company, but for the benefit of Scotland and the communities of Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven.