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Britain moved toward taking Rolls-Royce public.

The British government plans to appoint an investment bank to look into how Rolls-Royce, the state-owned aircraft engine maker, can be sold to the private sector, a government official said. In a written reply to a member of Parliament, Industry Under Secretary Geoffrey Pattie said Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative administration intends to return Rolls-Royce to private ownership before the next election, which must be held by 1988. The engine maker, which is no longer associated with the automobile maker of the same name, posted a pretax profit of $33.8 million in 1984, compared to a loss of $148.2 million in 1983. The government took over the company in 1971.


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