Since the Business Select Committee was, at pixel time, picking over whether Royal Mail was sold too cheaply…
Here’s a relevant Dealogic list we came across on Wednesday. These are the first-day trading performances for the other, large ($1bn-plus) IPOs of privatised companies in Europe over the last 15 years: Read more
We are sure this is exactly what the wise legislators of the US had in mind when they passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act last year.
A small internet start-up gets to raise a little bit of capital from private investors without all that cumbersome regulation and public scrutiny so it can invest and hire people. You know, JOBS! Read more
It seems strange that so little outrage has met the plan rustled up by British chancellor George Osborne to take over the Royal Mail’s pension so as to ‘expedite privatisation’ of the UK’s postal service.
What it actually does is provide the government with an immediate £28bn cash injection…along with a future £37bn contingent liability. Read more
Christmas cards will still be delivered but the Royal Mail privatisation won’t happen until at least 2013, according to a report in the Times cited by Reuters. A source told the paper Ofcom regulatory issues ruled out any form of sale in 2012, which is likely to put off investors eager to see how the state-owned enterprise does with its new freedom to charge more than 46p for a first class stamp.
Antitrust officials in Brussels are expected in the next few days to open a probe into the UK government’s plans to privatise Royal Mail, the FT says. The scrutiny will determine whether the UK proposals meet European Union state aid guidelines. EU competition officials are unlikely to complete their probe until the start of 2012 at the earliest.The move comes amid growing doubts about whether the coalition will be able to sell even part of the state-owned postal operator before 2013 because of Royal Mail’s deteriorating finances.
The part-privatisation of Royal Mail was formally put on hold on Wednesday by Peter Mandelson, UK business secretary, who said there was “no prospect” of the contentious sale going ahead at present. The retreat from legislation opposed by more than 140 Labour MPs solves a political headache for the government but opposition MPs warned of the impact on the postal operator’s pension fund. The bill to allow the sale of a 30% stake in Royal Mail would also enable a bailout of Royal Mail’s pension scheme.
Deutsche Post on Wednesday confirmed it had not made an offer for the UK’s Royal Mail and turned the spotlight on plans to overhaul its own mail delivery business. Frank Appel, chief executive, prepared the ground for a clash with German labour unions as the logistics company races to cut costs. Deutsche Post, which owns DHL as well as Germany’s former monopoly postal service, reported a 42% drop in Q1 underlying earnings.
Below, via the Beeb, a full copy of the letter from Jane Newell, chairman of the trustees of the Royal Mail pension fund, written to the business secretary Lord Mandelson (emphasis ours).
Further to our meeting of 13th February, perhaps I could confirm the Trustee’s views in respect of the Hooper Report, in so far as it affects the Royal Mail Pension Plan. Read more
Private equity group CVC Capital Partners is drawing up plans to buy a stake in Royal Mail, reports the Daily Telegraph. CVC’s interest is at an early stage and the firm is believed to be worried about the reputational risk of any deal because the part-privatisation of Royal Mail is so politically sensitive. The move to sell a minority stake in Royal Mail, led by Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, has drawn criticism and any deal with a buyout firm, which are treated with suspicion by many trade unions and Labour MPs, is likely to exacerbate their anger. CVC bought a 22% stake in Post Danmark from the Danish state in 2005 and went onto buy half the Belgian postal service and last year announced a merger with Posten, the Swedish post office.