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De Lorean Car Co Ltd

Volume 22: debated on Thursday 29 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the position regarding the De Lorean Car Co. Ltd. of Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.

The receivers and managers of De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd., which is in receivership, have maintained a limited manufacturing operation at Dunmurry while various inquiries about the purchase of the business have been pursued. They are currently evaluating a proposal brought forward by Mr. De Lorean, which would enable a manufacturing operation at Dunmurry to be continued as the result of the injection of substantial new capital by new investors. No proposition has yet been put to Ministers.

Given the very generous treatment by Sir Kenneth Cork of William Stern in the Stern Group bankruptcy, will the Minister use his powers to ensure that the assets of De Lorean at Dunmurry are not sold at a low, knock-down and absurd price to a shell company that is perhaps dominated, in reality, by Mr. De Lorean? Will the hon. Gentleman use his powers to ensure that the best possible deal is obtained for taxpayers and also the long-term security and stability of jobs at that plant?

The hon. Gentleman's last remarks sum up the objectives of the receiver and managers and of the Government.

Is the Minister aware of the serious position of some of De Lorean's creditors and that some firms find themselves in a difficult situation as a result of what has happened? In what way can the hon. Gentleman help those firms and safeguard them in the present situation?

I am well aware of the serious situation of many of the trade creditors. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have seen several of them personally. At this stage I can say only that the creditors' prospects will be better if the receiver and managers can make an arrangement either in response to the proposal before them or in response to any other proposal that might come forward.