Bloody hell! The government's only looking to sell off more state-owned assets.
The Department of Heath has hired investment bank Lazard to sell the its majority stake in Plasma Resources as part of its wider asset-flogging plan that is supposed to generate £12.3bn for public coffers. It will be the first government disposal since it off-loaded the Tote bookmaking business.
However, this one might actually make us a bit of money. The UK arm of Plasma Resources is currently loss-making (despite a turnover of £110m), so government's not making a bean from its stake at present. However, it appears that the DoH has already received several notices of interest from private equity firms and large multi-national biosciences companies. Plasma Resources is in dire need of investment to update its infrastructure. Money that government doesn't have, (shame, as the investment could then make the company extremely valuable). But this explains why there are so many canny buyers with deep pockets circling.
Government has always been a little cack-handed at making money on its state-owned companies - could this deal break its rum run of luck? We'll find out when the deal is signed off this coming June.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter says: 'We are taking this action to secure a viable future for the company and its employees in the long term and to ensure that patients will continue to have access to high quality medical products.'
And because we desperately need the cash...