HC Deb 06 March 1986 vol 93 c232W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the original deadline for bids for Vickers Cammell Laird yard; on what basis and on what terms an extension was granted and to whom; what steps he took to satisfy himself that such an extension would enable commercial confidentiality to be maintained for other bids; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Morrison

[pursuant to his reply, 3 March, c. 43]: Lazard Brothers, who are handling the sale of the warship yards on behalf of British Shipbuilders, originally invited bids by 12 noon on 25 February. As a result of a request from one bidder on 21 February, and with the agreement of all concerned, Lazards then told all bidders that they should receive bids by 5 pm on Tuesday 25 February. Lazards said they might reject any bid received after that time and date.

I understand that, shortly before 5 pm on 25 February, Lazards agreed to a request from one bidder to receive its bid shortly after 5 pm. Lazards have assured me that no other bid had been received when the request was granted, and that the confidentiality of any bids received was fully respected.