Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - Page 15 News List

UK to announce Royal Mail IPO, Sky News says


The British government on Thursday plans to announce a flotation of shares of its Royal Mail postal service next month, Sky News reported on its Web site without citing sources.

The 497-year-old institution is being listed next month to help fund the modernization of its delivery networks using private cash, in what would be the country’s largest privatization in decades.

Ministers are likely to decide this evening to go ahead with next month’s privatization and announce at 7am tomorrow their plans for Royal Mail’s stock market flotation, Sky News said on its Web site.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said no final decision had been taken about the timing of the initial public offering (IPO) and Royal Mail declined to comment.

Sky said Lansdowne Partners and Standard Life Investments were among institutions that have hinted at investing in Royal Mail, despite fierce opposition to the privatisation from the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

The CWU, which represents most of the delivery service’s 150,000 staff, this month said it would send out strike ballot papers if an agreement could not be reached with the government about post-privatization pay.

As part of the flotation, the government is handing a 10 percent stake in the firm to Royal Mail staff for free.

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