Royal Mail sell-off likely “in two to three years”

Royal Mail is likely to be partly or wholly privatised within two to three years.

The Financial Times reports the government is considering a 100% flotation, a staged approach or a sale of a stake to an industry or private equity buyer in the next few years.

The news emerged in an interview with the minister for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs, Ed Davey.

He told the newspaper that the coalition government would pass “flexible” legislation by next June, adding the goal is to get private capital and private disciplines in.

He reportedly said: “We will do that when we think that can be best delivered. I would hope and expect it to be within the next two to three years.”

Royal Mail’s business has come under pressure from new competitors and growing use of e-mail. It also faces a pension fund deficit put at up to £10bn.

Resolving the pension deficit would ensure “any purchaser of any type has certainty,” Davey was quoted as saying.

In the past Davey has reportedly said that postmen may be given shares in the Royal Mail

Plans to fully or partly sell-off the Royal Mail have long been mooted and the new Coalition Government wants to accelerate the privatisation initiative.

The Royal Mail has seen a series of strikes in the past 12 months.

In May it appointed Canada Post head Moya Greene as its new chief executive to replace Adam Crozier.

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