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Failed Tube contractor could be sold for just £1

Metronet is likely to be sold to Transport for London (TfL) for as little as £1, it emerged this week.
Ernst & Young, PPP Administrators for the Tube upgrade contractor, confirmed on Tuesday that TfL was sole bidder for the firm, confirming a takeover that was widely expected (News last week).

While Ernst & Young refused to reveal its valuation of Metronet, a TfL spokesman said it would be paying only a nominal sum for the failed contractor. "The Mayor has talked about £1 and I refer you to that," added the spokesman.

London Underground chief executive Tim O'Toole said TfL would work with the administrator to transfer the Metronet companies to TfL's control in early 2008.

The move will be seen by many as a victory for London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who disagreed with the Government over the right way to upgrade London's ageing underground system. Livingstone had argued against PPP but was overruled by then Chancellor Gordon Brown.

Tube Lines, which upgrades the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines, confirmed it would not make a counter-bid.

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