§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the privatisation of British Steel.
§ Mr. Atkins
The privatisation of British Steel was successfully completed at the end of last year. Despite uncertain stock market conditions, the United Kingdom offer for shares was 3.3 times subscribed, with over half a million applications from private investors. The taxpayer will receive £2,500 million from the sale and the company will now be better placed, following privatisation, to meet the challenges and opportunities of the international steel market.