Plans to privatise the Land Registry have been abandoned by the government after business secretary
It had been hoped that a sell-off would raise at least pounds 1.2 bn for the Treasury, with ministers deciding on the appropriate structure, such as creating a deal with a joint venture company.
But this week, ministers will tell parliament that the planned move has been suspended indefinitely. The Conservatives had been in favour of a partial sell-off via the creation of a joint venture.
The cancellation comes a day after Cable's department and its City advisers had to face a highly critical parliamentary report over their handling of the sell-off of
The shelving of the plan has a political dimension with
But the move will be praised by solicitors and unions who have campaigned against the privatisation.
The Land Registry for
It made a surplus of pounds 98.8m in 2012-13, up from pounds 86.1m the previous year, while revenue slipped by 3% to pounds 347m.
The ministry, headed by Cable, had been examining privatisation proposals for several months and City firms had been approached and asked for their advice. It had also looked into the possibility of setting up a joint venture between the government and a private company to take charge of the Land Registry together.
A public row over the agency's impending privatisation began after minutes disclosed by the Guardian showed that civil servants believed the government could raise pounds 1.225bn from entering a deal with a joint venture company, marginally higher than the pounds 1.1bn vaulation placed on the GovCo scheme.
They also showed that in March, the registry's board appointed their head of legal services as a company secretary for a new venture but had not yet announced it.
Under the heading "business strategy", the board appeared to discuss a
But nowhere in the minutes did the board consider the possibility of keeping the body as an executive agency of government.
A major campaign involving the PCS union and the
Fall in the Land Registry's revenue in 2012-13, when its surplus was pounds 98.8m, up from pounds 86.1m in the previous year
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