DoS property contract imminent

The winner of one of the biggest property management contracts to be let under the public finance initiative is expected to be announced early next week. The deal involves the provision and management of roughly 700 properties occupied by the Department of Social Security around the country.

In exchange for a down-payment likely to be around pounds 250m, the winning consortium will in effect take over the department's property needs for the next 20 years. Harriet Harman, the Social Security Secretary, will announce the victor from two rival bidders: PPM Property Management, led by Goldmans Sachs and including the AMEC building group and surveyors Richard Ellis; and the Mapeley Consortium, headed by Nations Bank of the US and including the Japanese-owned Daiwa Europe and Warburg Pincus, a big US venture capital group.