Friday, September 13, 2013

British government to privatize the Royal Mail

September 12, 2013 - "The government has confirmed it will sell off Royal Mail in 'the coming weeks' in the most contentious privatisation since the sale of the railways two decades ago.

"Vince Cable, the business secretary, on Thursday formally fired the starting gun on the £3bn sale by filing a formal 'intention to float' on the stock exchange within six weeks. At least half of the company will be floated and the size will be increased if there is sufficient demand from investors.

 "The sell-off of the 497-year-old postal service is forcefully opposed by the union, who are planning strike action timed to coincide with the sale....

"Margaret Thatcher, who privatised British Gas, British Airways, British Telecom and dozens of other state-owned institutions in the 1980s, famously refused to countenance a sale of Royal Mail, saying she was 'not prepared to have the Queen's head privatised'.

 "Lord Heseltine and Lord Mandelson both subsequently tried but failed to sell the company, in the face of intense opposition from MPs. The sale of Royal Mail was approved by parliament in the 2011 Postal Services Act."

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