HC Deb 13 December 1995 vol 268 cc667-8W
Mr. Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps he took immediately(a) before and (b) after 31 December 1994 to ensure appropriate publicity in financial markets in relation to the redemption of his golden share in Welsh water; [4120]

(2) what assessment he has made of the impact on market integrity of the publicity in December 1994 and January 1995 regarding the golden share in Welsh Water and the absence of any corrective publicity; [4176]

(3) what steps he took to correct the publicity in financial markets in December 1994 and January 1995 concerning the continued existence of his Welsh Water golden share; [4177]

Mr. Hague

[holding answer 5 December 1995]: The arrangements for the redemption of the special shares held by the Secretaries of State in water holding companies were set out in section 1, chapter IV, of the prospectus for sale, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. The special share held in Welsh Water plc was redeemed on 31 December 1994 in accordance with these arrangements. No further publicity was considered necessary.

The prospectus for sale—section 9, chapter V—also gave details of special provisions in the articles of association of Welsh Water plc which prevent any person from owning or controlling more than 15 per cent. of the company's voting share capital, subject to certain limited exceptions. This remains in effect other than by a special resolution of 75 per cent. of the company's shareholders to change its articles of association. It was agreed to incorporate this provision in the company's articles of association following concerns about the retention of Welsh interests in the water resources of Wales.