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MINISTRY OF DEFENCE 160/96 November 25, 1996 ROSYTH DOCKYARD TO BE PRIVATISED Rosyth Royal Dockyard in Scotland is to be sold to the Babcock International Group, James Arbuthnot, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, said today. He repeated the announcement made earlier today by Michael Portillo, Secretary of State for Defence, at the Scottish Grand Committee in Fife. Privatisation is the best way forward for the taxpayer, and offers Babcock and its employees the prospect of a secure long term future, he said. The Babcock Group has been responsible for commercial management of the dockyard since 1987. In answer to a parliamentary question from Peter Temple-Morris MP (Leominster), Mr Arbuthnot said: "Since the announcement in October 1993 of the Government's intention to sell the Royal Dockyards, a series of separate negotiations has been conducted with Babcock International Group for the proposed sale of Rosyth Royal Dockyard PLC. "I am pleased to say that negotiations with Babcock have been concluded and we intend to sign the sale contract shortly, subject only to acceptable final contract terms and conditions. That agreement represents good value for money for the taxpayer and will generate savings of #100M over ten years. It will also give Babcock and its employees the prospect of achieving a secure long term future for the Dockyard. To assist in that the Government has allocated a significant programme of ship refit work to the yard, lasting well into the next decade. The forthcoming refits of the carriers HMS INVINCIBLE and HMS ARK ROYAL and the nuclear powered submarines HMS SCEPTRE and HMS SPARTAN, amongst others, will take place at Rosyth. My Department is today issuing a Consultation Document to the Trades Unions about the impact of the sale on MOD employees." # = pounds sterling