asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the proposed sale of the Government shareholding in British Aerospace plc.
A preliminary prospectus for the joint offer of shares by the Government and the company was issued today.The preliminary prospectus is a draft, subject to completion and amendment, of the final prospectus for the offer. The offer will be for a total of some 146·9 million ordinary shares, of which 96,852,746 will be offered for sale by the Government (representing the whole of the Government's residual ordinary shareholding in the company) and 50 million will be new shares issued by the company.The company has given notice of an extraordinary general meeting, convened for 29 April 1985, to seek shareholders' approval of certain matters necessary for the offer to proceed. These include the creation of a special share, to be held by the Secretary of State. The consent of the special shareholder will be required for any change to specified provisions of the company's articles of association, including those dealing with United Kingdom control. Some detailed amendments to those provisions are also being proposed.
Subject to market conditions the offer is intended to take place in early May.