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BRITAIN’S thriving tech scene was championed at the 15th Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 awards last week.

Lance Uggla, co-founder of Markit, the $5bn (£3.3bn) Nasdaq-listed financial information supplier, said multilingual London trumped New York as the location of its headquarters.

Torsten Reil, co-founder of NaturalMotion, the games developer acquired by Zynga for $527m, described how titles such as CSR Racing and Grand Theft Auto V are driven by its software.

Britain’s fastest-growing private tech companies were applauded. BMW presented Skyscape Cloud Services with an award as the one to watch; E-Leather received Barclays’ social innovation prize; Bullitt won BDO’s best management team, and scooped BGF’s outstanding achievement award. The Sunday Times’s best emerging brand was Farfetch; Hiscox honoured Apical for digital innovation; and e-commerce platform Ve Interactive topped the ranks for speediest growth.

OpCapita turns to retail veteran

The former boss of Budgens and Somerfield has agreed to chair OpCapita, the private equity firm that floated Game Group and oversaw the controversial collapse of Comet.

The appointment of John von Spreckelsen, who also chaired the chocolatier Thorntons for five years, comes amid expectations that OpCapita will raise a second fund. Its first closed last year and has bought NKD, a German discounter, and La Sirena, a Spanish frozen food chain. OpCapita, run by Henry Jackson, was criticised over Comet, which went bust three years ago with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Little Chef saviour grabs Caparo

A buyer has emerged for part of Caparo, the stricken steel company, just weeks after the suicide of its chief executive Angad Paul. Rcapital, the investment firm that rescued Little Chef in 2007, has signed a deal to buy Caparo Wire, the steel wire manufacturing business, City sources said. The rescue deal, signed yesterday morning, will save about 80 Caparo jobs in Wrexham. Matthew Hammond, lead administrator at PwC, said he was pleased the deal would “provide security” to staff at Caparo’s Wrexham site.

Lansdown seeks life on the Edge

Stephen Lansdown, the co-founder of FTSE 100 financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown, has joined private equity firm Edge Investments. Edge, which owns Coolabi, the company behind Children’s TV series Clangers, invests in entertainment and media companies. Lansdown, who stepped down from the board of Hargreaves Lansdown in 2012, has taken a 10% stake in Edge, and will become a partner in the private equity outfit.

Andy McGowan
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