HC Deb 26 July 1990 vol 177 cc407-8W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, further to the replies of 18 December 1989,Official Report, columns 23–24, and 19 July, Official Report, column 677, what progress has been made on privatising the Export Credits Guarantee Department's insurance services.

Mr. Lilley

I have decided that the short-term business of ECGD should be sold by means of a competition among prospective trade purchasers and consortia.

Subject to securing the necessary legislative authority, the Government's intention remains to vest the business of insurance services in a Government-owned company in April 1991 and to complete the sale as soon as possible thereafter.

Samuel Montagu and Co. Limited are issuing by the end of this month, on my behalf, a preliminary information memorandum and prequalification questionnaire to bona fide investors who have indicated an interest in purchasing the company. Copies of the information memorandum and questionnaire will be sent to other interested bona fide investors on application to Samuel Montagu. Responses to the questionnaire must be submitted to Samuel Montagu by midday on 28 September 1990. In the light of responses received, the next stage in the process will be to dispatch an invitation to tender to shortlisted bidders in due course. Normal competition legislation and procedures will apply to the sale process.