COMMERCIAL: Trusts in the East of England region are selling a support services body that serves primary and mental health services in two counties.

The Anglia Support Partnership is the support services arm for three primary care trusts, two community service providers and a mental health trust.

It had a turnover of £34m in 2010 and also roughly 80 contracts for IT, financial services, catering and estates services across the region and in London.

The tender document said the host trusts wanted a public or private sector partner “to maximise ASP’s future business opportunities”. The document noted the maximum contract value could be £400m.

ASP is owned and run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, NHS Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust, NHS Peterborough, NHS Norfolk and Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.

The organisation employs 600 staff and the host trusts envisage staff will be moved to the new owner under transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) rules.

Clients include Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust, Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust and Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust in London.

ASP reported 70 organisations submitting an expression of interest in the tender, with 11 then completing pre-qualification questionnaires and eight shortlisted “to submit outline solutions”.

ASP’s acting managing director Gus Williamson said: “We are seeking a strategic partner, from either the private or public sector, to maximise future business opportunities following a strategic review of our business with stakeholders.

“ASP could provide an acquirer with both an established route into this market, worth an estimated £2bn per annum, and a platform for further growth.”