The British Government is considering taking a majority share-holding in the country's biggest motor manufacturing group -- British Leyland -- to rescue if from a financial crisis.
GV EXTERIOR British Leyland plant
SV Lorry leaving factory PAN DOWN TO latest model
SV Cars on assembly line (2 shots)
SV Car being assembled (2 shots)
SV Man working on wheel ZOOM OUT TO GV Assembly line
SV Car driven from assembly
GV British Leyland cars waiting for export
Initials CL/1804 CL/1816
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Background: The British Government is considering taking a majority share-holding in the country's biggest motor manufacturing group -- British Leyland -- to rescue if from a financial crisis.
A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (22 April) decided to accept the findings of a report on the future of British Leyland which it commissioned after the company approached the Government for aid last year.
The Financial Times newspaper said the Industry Secretary Mr. Anthony Wedgwood Benn would make a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday (24 April) and the main recommendations of the report by Government Industrial Advisor Sir Don Ryder would be published then.
There was apparently some disagreement within the Government as to how large the Government's share should be. The Ryder report, which was completed three weeks ago, is believed to recommend a stake of well over 50 per cent. Right-wing members of the Government want to see a smaller shareholding.
The Government has already loaned the company 50 million sterling (115 million dollars) and the report estimated it will need capital of more than 1,000 million sterling (2,300 million dollars) over the next seven years.
The company's financial position has seriously deteriorated over the last few years. The problems have been aggravated recently by adverse trading conditions and industrial disputes.
Dealings in the company's shares were suspended on the stock exchange on Wednesday afternoon at the company's request until after Mr. Benn's statement the next day.