Coal sale 'in six parts'

BRITISH COAL is likely to be sold off in up to six parts under plans the Government is expected to announce in October, writes Mary Fagan.

Industry sources say that the sale will be direct to companies, rather than through a stock market flotation, and that although ministers want it to be completed as soon as possible, it is not likely to go through until early 1995.

British Coal is currently offering 19 pits which have ceased production for lease and licence to the private sector. There were 300 expressions of interest in them, but only 18 have been followed through.