To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when the contract was signed for the appointment of Imagination to be the co-ordinator of the share offer presentations for the forthcoming offers for sale of the successor companies to the area electricity boards in England and Wales.
I announced the joint appointment, with the 12 regional electricity companies, of Imagination as co-ordinators of the share offer presentations for the forthcoming offers for the sale of the 12 RECs on 4 May 1990, after terms and conditions had been agreed. A formal contract incorporating these terms and conditions is being prepared.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, further to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 468, whether any of the estate agents advising on electricity privatisation have consulted him regarding any potential conflict of interest.
Before they were appointed all the property advisers assured my Department that they had no conflict of interest with their appointment. As I said in my reply of 16 February to the hon. Member, the contracts with these firms require them to consult me regarding potential conflict of interest. I am satisfied that these arrangements have enabled my Department to ensure that any such potential conflicts are avoided.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his answer of 5 February, Official Report, columns 454–58, if he will list any changes in the companies retained by him to advise on electricity privatisation.
Since I last replied the following changes have taken place in the Department's contracts with advisers.The following contracts have come to an end:
Adviser and Area
- Lloyds Bank—Receiving Bank and Registrar
- Lamb and Edge—Property Valuers
- Grimley J. R. Eve—Property Valuers
- Gerald Eve—Property Valuers
- Knight Frank Rutley—Property Valuers
- Weatherall Green and Smith—Property Valuers
- Debenham Tewson and Cheshire—Property Valuers
- Hartnell Taylor and Cook—Property Valuers
- Connell Hallum and Brackett—Property Valuers
- Matthews and Goodman—Property Valuers
- Cook and Arkwright—Property Valuers
- Bernard Thorpe—Property Valuers
- Henry Butcher—Property Valuers
- Lloyd Northover—Design Consultants
New contracts have been concluded with:
Adviser and Area
- Price Waterhouse—Reporting accountants
- Russell Reynolds—Recruitment consultants for Chairmanship, National Power
- R. L. Associates—Setting X for Area Boards
- Lincoln Hannah—Press cutting service
- Imagination—Roadshow organisers
- WCRS—Flotation advertising
- Debenhams Tewson and Chinnocks—Property Valuers
- Edward Erdman—Property Valuers
- Rowe and Pitman—Brokers (in the process of being formally appointed)
In addition, a number of operational contractors have been or are in the process of being employed to provide the major flotation operations:
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he intends to publish the valuations of the assets of the electricity supply industry which have been carried out by the firms of estate agents that are advising him.
The reports of the surveyors are commercially confidential documents.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether the firms of estate agents for the 12 electricity distribution companies, the National Grid Company, PowerGen and National Power appointed jointly with his Department were chosen by competitive tender.
The Government's central adviser. Jones Lang Wootton, was appointed by a competitive process. The valuers for the 12 regional electricity companies, the National Grid Company, PowerGen and National Power were joint appointments with the industry. These were either chosen by a competitive process or on the basis of existing arrangements with the individual companies concerned. For example, valuers who had recently advised a company were often picked in the interest of obtaining their accumulated knowledge and expertise with the related downward pressure on fees. This is an established practice in privatisation exercises. In all such cases the fees chargeable were renegotiated as if their selection had been on the basis of a competitive process. The Department drove a hard bargain in these cases and succeeded in obtaining charge rates which were well below the companies' normal commercial rates.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether annex B to the Cabinet Office guidelines on Government publicity applies to his specialist PR and marketing adviser and the PR and marketing adviser to his Department and the electricity supply industry;(2) whether page 10 of the document entitled "The Government Information Officer" applies to his special PR and marketing adviser and the PR and marketing adviser to his Department and the electricity supply industry.
I have nothing to add to the letter I wrote to the hon. Member on 11 April 1990 on these matters.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has anything to add to his answer of 9 May, Official Report, column 167, about James Capel's advice to journalists.
James Capel has not advised journalists of the value at which the electricity supply industry will be sold. It is in any case much too early to produce a meaningful estimate of the likely proceeds of the sale. Exactly how James Capel respond to speculation or questions about the likely proceeds which appear in the press is a matter for it.