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The fightback starts here...

SCOTTISH firms are fighting back in the takeover stakes after a tough start to the year

The acquisition traffic is flowing the other way since hotels and casinos group Stakis and packaging group Sidlaw accepted unwanted bids.

Within the week, quoted Dun- dee-based biotech company Shield Diagnostics is expected to announce success in its long-running bid to take over a major Norwegian competitor, Axis Biochemicals.

The deal will give Shield shareholders a 57 per cent stake in the merged business which will employ 300 in Dundee and Oslo.

Shield-Axis aim to be world leaders in producing testing kits which identify people at risk from heart disease.

And, last week, the privately owned Lanarkshire engineering group Motherwell Bridge pounced on a Californian software company, Technology Transfer Group, as part of a pounds 6m three-acquisitions deal.

It will be added into MB's fast-growing information services division, bringing the division's US turnover to dollars 30m a year.

Also last week, two ambitious Scottish entrepreneurs, Adam Mills and Ray McEnhill, made more progress towards plans to build a quoted leisure business.

They sold two more businesses from the ailing industrial group Fife Indmar - Precision Machining in Edinburgh and TL Precision Engineering in Glasgow - for pounds 1.35m.

Finally, the takeover threat hanging over Scotland's largest engineers, the Weir Group, was lifted when US pumps firm Flow-serve acknowledged it couldn't afford to up its pounds 600 million bid.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 7, 1999
Previous Article:newsbriefing; pounds 1.5m up in smoke.
Next Article:Sunday Mail Cashpoint; Outsiders join the tartan army.

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