The company that owns London's fire engines and 50,000 items of safety and rescue equipment is on the brink of going bust. AssetCo have been in financial trouble for months, but could be wound up at a court hearing on Monday.
AssetCo supply equipment to London and Lincolnshire's fire services under a PFI agreement, and there are fears their assets - including the city's fire engines - could be seized by creditors to help pay off the company's debts. It owes somewhere between £117m and £140m to various creditors. Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank is thought to be trying to buy AssetCo but are offering three to five times less than they were willing to pay a few months ago.
The Fire Brigade Union has asked the London Fire Brigade what its contingency plans are if AssetCo does go under, but the LFB has so far remained silent. With the failure of the tube PPP and now this, are there any bits of London's infrastructure in private hands that are safe?