Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 09:35 UK

UK sells remaining Qinetiq stake

Qinetiq advertisement
The MOD was accused of selling off Qinetiq too cheaply.

The government is selling its remaining stake in UK defence research firm Qinetiq, once part of the Ministry of Defence's technology development unit.

The MOD will dispose of almost 125 million shares, or 18.9% of the stock, with the price to be determined by the level of demand among investors.

But the government will retain its right to veto any deal contrary to UK defence and security interests.

The stake is worth 279m based on Monday's closing share price.

The MOD had been accused of selling off the firm to US private equity firm Carlyle in 2003 too cheaply.

Carlyle later made 370m when Qinetiq listed on the stock exchange in 2006.

On Tuesday, Qinetiq shares fell 7.9%, or 17.75 pence, to 205.75p.

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