s300_department-for-business-innovation-skillsThe government has begun the process of disposing of its remaining shareholding in Royal Mail plc. The disposal of the shares will be by way of a placing to institutional investors. The government currently holds just under a 14% stake in Royal Mail, with the remaining shares held by a combination of employees and private investors.

A Department for Business spokesperson said:

The Business Secretary has yesterday authorised a sale process to begin. Current market conditions should allow a successful sale and the realisation of value for the taxpayer.

The universal postal service is strongly protected by law and Ofcom has a duty to ensure its provision. Therefore the government sees no policy reason to retain a stake in Royal Mail.

The Post Office Ltd, which operates the network of branches throughout the UK, remains wholly owned by government and was separated from Royal Mail in April 2012. The relationship between the Post Office and Royal Mail is a commercial one and a 10 year contract for the delivery of Royal Mail services through post offices was put in place in 2012.