asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list the amount of public money and the dates the money was invested in Alfred Herbert Ltd. and Herbert Ltd. (a) by his Department, and (b) by the National Enterprise Board; and what guarantees have been given by his Department or the National Enterprise Board to creditors of Herbert Ltd.
The Department acquired all the ordinary shares in Alfred Herbert Ltd. on 10 December 1975 for £26·2 million. These shares were transferred at cost to the National Enterprise Board on 25 February 1976, and thereupon constituted part of the board's capital debt. Since then the board has invested £10 million on 20 April 1978 and £8·3 million on 30 March 1979 in the ordinary shares of Herbert Ltd. In addition, the board made a number of loans to Herbert Ltd. in the period 1976–78 to a net maximum of £5·6 million. The outstanding balance was repaid on 31 March 1979.In the period for which the board has had responsibility for Herbert Ltd. the Department has offered the company a total of £4·2 million under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972. To date, only £1·53 million has been paid against this amount.No guarantees to the companies' creditors have been issued by the Department or the board.