GEC already owns Yarrow on the Clyde, and has expressed an interest in bidding for Devonport, the Plymouth dockyard that VSEL also wants to buy.
Devonport will refit the Trident submarines that VSEL makes. But the chief prize would be the pounds 2.5bn Trafalgar submarine contract that is almost certainly to be placed with VSEL next year. Buying the Barrow-in-Furness yard would be pin money for GEC, which could easily afford the pounds 13.50 a share many believe it would have to offer. Standing in its way, however, is the Ministry of Defence. Lord Weinstock has proved an adept political player before. There seems no reason to believe he cannot play the government game again.Reuse content