Scottish Enterprise posts £29.9m write-off against £106m company sales

Scottish Enterprise posts £29.9m write-off against £106m company sales

Adrian Gillespie

Scottish Enterprise has written off nearly £30 million in failed investments and recorded £106m from company sales in its most recent financial year.

The agency, which provides loans, grants, and investments to businesses, recorded a total write-off of £29.9m from 111 companies for the 12 months ending March 2023, as stated in its annual report.

Despite these setbacks, Scottish Enterprise has a history of successful ventures, including Skyscanner, sold for $1.7 billion in 2016, Current Health, a medical device company acquired for $400m in 2021, and Exscientia, a Dundee University spin-out listed on Nasdaq.

The agency’s investment strategy, aimed at boosting private sector funding, saw a record £106m return from company sales in the year to March 2022. However, notable losses included £3.3m in Boundary, a home alarm system developer, and £2.5m in Kite Power Systems, which attempted to generate electricity using large kites.

Other significant write-offs involved Network90, a football industry networking portal, and Team Rock, a rock and heavy metal magazine publisher, which struggled with digital media transition. Some write-offs were also related to dormant companies, inactive for over a decade.

Despite these challenges, Scottish Enterprise has contributed significantly to the Scottish economy since 2003, generating £470m in income and helping attract £2.3bn in private investment. In 2022, total investment in Scotland reached a record £953m.

However, the agency has accumulated about £180m in write-offs since 2010. With budget constraints, Scottish Enterprise’s chief executive, Adrian Gillespie, has indicated a downsizing in the coming years, including regional office closures.

Share icon
Share this article: