§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether any further decisions have been made concerning the disposal of Amersham International Ltd.
§ Mr. John Moore
Yes. In July, Parliament passed the Atomic Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1981 which gives the Government powers to dispose of all the shares in Amersham International Limited.
Following discussions with the company and with representatives of the trade unions and staff associations concerned, I am pleased to announce that the Government have decided to offer shares in Amersham International Ltd. for sale to the general public by means of a flotation on the Stock Exchange next year. The Government believe that it will be in the best interests of the nation and of the company for Amersham to continue its development as an independent private sector company with a wide spread of ownership by the public. The articles of association of the company will therefore be drawn up with this in mind.
Each of Amerham's United Kingdom-based employees is to receive preference in the allocation of shares for which they have applied. It is the Government's intention that each of them will be offered shares in the company free of charge, and they will be offered further free shares, the amount depending on the number that they themselves buy.