HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 c7W
Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how the figure of £350 million for the partial sale of NATS was calculated; and what plans he has to write off the outstanding debts owed by NATS. [104097]

Mr. Mullin

The estimate of £350 million in proceeds from the strategic partner in NATS is net of any debt restructuring and was calculated by our advisers in order to give Parliament a broad estimate of the possible proceeds from the proposed sale. The precise amount of the proceeds will be the subject of commercial negotiations with the strategic partner.

NATS loans from the NLF must be extinguished when the PPP is put in place so as to avoid any hidden subsidy to the PPP. This may be achieved by repayment, or by writing them off and replacing them with new commercial debt. Final decisions will be taken in consultation with the selected strategic partner when establishing an optimum capital structure for the company.