HC Deb 06 March 1997 vol 291 c712W
Mr. George

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete the sale of the pFfpnce Evaluation and Research Agency's support services division; what are the reasons behind the delay in completion of the sale; if APAX Partners has agreed bulk transfer terms for staff pensions with the Government Actuary's Department; and what bulk transfer terms for staff pensions were agreed in previous privatisations of Ministry of Defence services or agencies. [18107]

Mr. Arbuthnot

We have not yet been able to reach agreement on acceptable terms with APAX and have, therefore, decided to open negotiations with CinVen, the other financial institution that was on the original shortlist. We will conclude a deal only if and when mutually satisfactory terms have been agreed. I expect to have come to a decision within a matter of days rather than weeks.

Regarding staff pensions, there will now have to be further negotiations with CinVen over bulk transfer terms. Previous MOD organisations have generally involved an agreement on this issue and I hope that the offer of similar terms will prove acceptable.