A £220m PFI deal was actually agreed with part of a Bermuda-based group, owned by George Soros and US group Fortress Investment, despite the buyer being named as UK-registered Mapeley Limited. The deal saw control of the estate pass from the Revenue in return for £220m.
‘Inland Revenue and Customs Excise dealt with Mapeley Limited during the two year procurement process,’ the Revenue said in a statement.
‘The precise contract structure was revealed fairly late in the procurement process and the press release incorrectly stated that the contract was awarded to Mapeley Limited. There was no intention to mislead.’
The Inland Revenue confirmed its mistake following an investigation by BBC News Online. The National Audit Office is now expected to examine the deal.
Under the terms of the deal, Mapeley Limited is required to provide serviced accommodation for 20 years, after which it retains the properties. How much the Revenue pays in rent and service costs is unknown because commercial agreements between the government and the private sector are confidential.
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