§ Mr. Greg Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has any further progess to report on the privatisation of Rolls-Royce.
§ Mr. Pattie
The Government have agreed that Rolls-Royce should re-register as a public limited company on 1 May 1986. This is an essential step preparatory to privatisation. Subject to market conditions, the Government intend to return the company to the private sector in the first half of 1987.
The Government intend that provisions should be introduced into the company's articles of association before privatisation to ensure continuing United Kingdom control of Rolls-Royce. These provisions will be protected by a special share to be held by the Government. The details of these arrangements are still under consideration, and a further statement will be made in due course.