- 25 Sep 2018
Date received: 15 August 2018
Date responded: 12 September 2018
Your email of 15 August compares the purpose of the loan facility provided to FMEL as described in the Scottish Government’s news release of 27 June 2018 with an extract of the submission to Ministers dated 22 June 2018 from Mary McAllan which summarises the purpose of the loan in relation to “liquidity”. You queried the reasons for the different terminology used to describe the aims of the loan facility, including the purpose of diversification.
The concepts “working capital” and “liquidity” are linked. Working capital (the difference between the company’s current assets and current liabilities) is one measure of a company’s liquidity – that is, its ability to pay off debts as they fall due.
The specific purpose of the loan facility as described in the Loan Agreement between the Scottish Ministers and Ferguson Marine is “to fund FMEL to assist with the long term viability and enhanced capabilities of the businesses carried on at the Property, and for other general working capital purposes of FMEL, all as identified in the Business Plan and/or Financial Model.”
In answering the FOI of [Redacted] (FO1/18/01835) the Scottish Government decided that it was appropriate to redact certain sections of the material held because exemptions under sections of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) apply. Disclosure of this material relating to sensitive commercial transactions would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Ferguson Marine and risks substantial inhibition of free and frank exchanges with Ministers.
An exemption under section 33 (1(b)) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to commercial information that may prejudice the company.
An exemption under section 30 of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it contains information that could risk substantial inhibition of free and frank exchanges with Ministers.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House