HC Deb 20 December 1974 vol 883 cc698-9W
Mr. Trotter

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) why, since the Government's shareholding in Hawthorn Leslie Ltd. is of such a size that it is required under the Companies Act to be notified to the company within 14 days of its acquisition, this provision of the Companies Act was not complied with by the Government;

(2) What shares in Hawthorn Leslie Ltd. are owned by the Government; what percentage they form of the company's issued share capital; and what price was paid for them.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) on what date 400,000 shares in the Hawthorn Leslie subsidiary of Court Line Limited were transferred to his Department;

(2) if, in view of the fact that the 14.9 per cent. stock in Hawthorn Leslie now held by the Department of Industry represents the largest single shareholding, he will offer other smaller shareholders in this company the same price as he paid for the 400,000 shares he acquired from Court Line.

Mr. Benn

No shares in R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie & Co. Ltd. are owned by my Department. My Department does however own the entire share capital of Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd., which has a wholly-owned subsidiary, Lintsgress Ltd, which acquired 400,000 shares in Hawthorn Leslie when Appledore and Lintsgress were part of the Court Line Group. No Hawthorn Leslie shares have been acquired since Appledore came into public ownership on 19th September 1974. Lintsgress's shareholding amounts to 14.9 per cent. of Hawthorn Leslie's ordinary share capital. No part of the price paid for the Appledore shares was specifically attributed to Lintsgress's shareholding in Hawthorn Leslie.

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