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SOE Minister comments on NATS tender process

22 February 2001 Media Statement

SOE Minister comments on NATS tender process

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises Mark Burton says he has been advised by Airways Corporation of the latest developments in the bidding process for Britain's National Air Traffic Services.

"It is disappointing that the consortium Airways is involved in – Novares – has not been selected as the preferred bidder to run NATS.

"However, I note that the British Government has advised that Novares has not been eliminated from the process and is being held in reserve.

"Novares also remains subject to confidentiality agreements.

"Whatever the final outcome, Novares has done very well in a highly competitive international tender process to reach the final three. Success in any tender can never be guaranteed.

"In 1999, the Airways Board budgeted $2.5 million for its involvement in this bid, which offered a potential return of up to $70 million. The bid was included in business plans approved by the previous government. The current projected cost is around $2 million, well inside that budget.

"The Government expects SOEs to run as efficient and successful companies. For many, this will include exploring new business opportunities, which have the potential to enhance and grow the company. The NATS bid fits within this criteria," Mark Burton said.


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