11th June 2015
The government has sold-off half of the 30% stake it retained in delivery firm Royal Mail, at a price of 500p per share, raising £750m.
In a statement the Treasury said that following independent financial advice, the government decided that it was a good opportunity to realise value for money from a sale of part of its remaining shareholding in Royal Mail.
The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid said the sale “represents good value for taxpayers”.
He said: “That money can be used to reduce public debt, which is how we will deliver lasting economic security for working people.
“Royal Mail has demonstrated that it can thrive in the private sector. It now has the ability to access the funds it needs to ensure that it has a sustainable future and can adapt to the changes in the postal market.”
Speaking last night at the annual Mansion House speech, the Chancellor, George Osborne, said:
“We want to help the Royal Mail attract more investment and serve its customers, and use the money we raise in return to pay down the national debt.
“And we’re also going to make sure that there is a special bonus for the workforce who have done such a great job turning Royal Mail around. Thanks to them, Royal Mail’s share price has risen; so we’re going to give more of the shares to the staff.”
The government intends to gift up to 1% of the shares of the company, worth about £50m, to Royal Mail’s UK employees. These shares will come from Government’s remaining holding and they will be subject to sales restrictions.
This builds on the 10% of the total shares in the firm that were awarded to Royal Mail employees as part of the 2013 flotation.