Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taxpayers' Final Stake in Royal Mail Goes for PS590m

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taxpayers' Final Stake in Royal Mail Goes for PS590m

Article excerpt

Byline: Angela Jameson

THE Royal Mail begins its life as a fully privatised postal company today, after the Government sold off its remaining 14% stake overnight.

The sale of 13% of the company at 455p a share to financial institutions raised PS591.1 million for the Government.

The final 1% was given to 143,000 Royal Mail employees, taking their stake in the company to 12%.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid, said: "This is a truly historic day for Royal Mail with the workers gaining a share of this history. This is the right step for the Royal Mail, its customers and the taxpayer."

But the postal workers' union condemned the sale, saying it would threaten the universal service, which sees mail delivered nationwide for the same price.

The proceeds from last night's share sale will go towards paying off the national debt and take the sum raised from the Royal Mail privatisation to PS3.3 billion.

Royal Mail's privatisation began two years ago, when the almost 500-yearold business was floated at 330p a share and small investors rushed to apply for shares in scenes reminiscent of the 1980s state privatisations. …

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