§ Mr. Cryer
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how, in each individual case, the 61 potential bidders for the skill centres, who agreed that their identities might be disclosed, were assessed under appendix IV, principal lease terms, of the Deloitte information memorandum issued on his behalf; which bidders were informed of the possibility of grant being available; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
The 61 organisations that the hon. Member describes as potential bidders were those which had expressed an interest in the sale, and had agreed to have their identities disclosed to STA staff and trade unions. Not all those organisations submitted an initial bid.
Bidders had the choice of acquiring the Government's freehold or long leasehold interest in the properties or of taking a short lease, under the terms referred to in appendix IV of the information memorandum. Whichever option was chosen was up to the bidder and, provided that the main lease terms were met, no other element of assessment attached to appendix IV.
There were no grants available to bidders and none was paid. Most bids involved a negative consideration, which reflected factors such as the nature of leasehold, and estimated costs of turning the business round. All the bids received were evaluated by our professional advisers on a common basis. The Government chose the mix of bids which best met the objectives for the sale, a copy of which was placed in the Vote Office on 13 February 1990.