§ Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a further statement on the winding up of the Lear Fan project.
§ Dr. Boyson
It is unlikely that any substantial recoupment of the public funds invested in the Lear Fan project will be achieved by sale of physical assets owned by Lear Fan Ltd. in either the United States or in the United Kingdom. Such recoupment appears to be wholly dependant on the sale and subsequent successful development of the Lear Fan technology rights. The receiver of Lear Fan Ltd. (appointed by the Government), those who invested private funds in the project and the US trustee in bankruptcy are currently discussing the possibility of establishing a new company to market the technology rights.
The new company shareholding would be allocated on the basis of the investment made by the respective parties and the rights they hold in respect of the project. The US trustee in bankruptcy could decide to take out a shareholding in the new company. If so the Government, who even if a new company is formed will still be creditors of Lear Fan Ltd., would be entitled to a proportion of any benefits ultimately accruing to the trustee in respect of his shareholding in the new company. Formation of a new company will require the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court.
The receiver has had some discussions with a consortium about the possible acquisition of the project; but there is no question of any further Government investment even if there are proposals to exploit the project within the United Kingdom.