LONDON -- Scotia Holdings plc is continuing its restructuring by cutting staff at its research and development facility, the Efamol Research Institute, in Kentville, Nova Scotia, from 60 to 30. The company, based in Stirling, Scotland, said the cut will lead to a £1 million (US$1.65 million) reduction in the annual cost of running the facility, which will now focus on basic research rather than product development.

The company has received loans from the government of Nova Scotia to upgrade and expand the facility. Following discussions on its financial position, the government has agreed in principle to allow Scotia to defer both interest and capital repayments for three years on its outstanding debt of £3 million. In return, Scotia has agreed in principle that the government may convert its debt into equity over this three-year period, at prices between £1.90 and £2.80 per share.

As part of the move to focus on basic research, the institute will incorporate genomics into its research in lipid metabolism. Scotia said this will enable it to create an integrated platform for the discovery of new compounds. CEO Robert Dow said the Kentville site "is ideally suited for this new project, which is designed to capitalize on Scotia's substantial expertise in lipid biology and biochemistry." *