24-Mar-2011 11:48 AM

UK Government to reduce stake in NATS

UK Treasury confirmed plans to reduce its 49% stake in NATS. "The government intends to realise value from its stake in Nats, subject to considering the views of key stakeholders," the treasury stated. (The Guardian, 23-Mar-2011). The Airline Group which owns 42% of NATS, has warned that it might dispose of its stake if the government reduces its shareholding to zero. Potential bidders for the NATS stake include UK service company Serco, Global Infrastructure Partners and Lockheed Martin. The Airline Group has expressed concerns over the prospect of a private bidder taking on debt to acquire the business, which made a pre-tax profit of GBP78.3m in 2010, and running NATS with profitability as a priority.

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