HC Deb 25 June 1998 vol 314 c563W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will launch an inquiry into the proposed acquisition of a stake in Virgin Rail by Stagecoach.[47561]

Ms Glenda Jackson

The proposed acquisition by Stagecoach of a 49 per cent. shareholding in Virgin Rail will require approval by the Franchising Director under the terms of Virgin's franchise agreements and by the Rail Regulator under the terms of the licences issued by him. It may also constitute a merger under the terms of the Fair Trading Act 1973 and the Director General of Fair Trading will be considering this. If it is a qualifying merger, he will provide advice to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as to whether it should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission or whether undertakings should be sought in lieu of such a reference.

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