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Royal Mail privatisation: first report of session 2014-15: Vol. 2 Oral and written evidence

House of Commons papers 539-II 2014-15

Corporate Author:
Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
Adrian Bailey (chairman)
TSO (The Stationery Office)

The Government achieved its aim of floating Royal Mail on the stock exchange, but their fear of failure and the consequent low issue price of shares means taxpayers look like missing out on significant value. The Shareholder Executive, Lazard, the Government's financial adviser, and UBS and Goldman Sachs (the Government's Global Coordinators) failed to gauge demand at higher price levels and didn't give appropriate consideration to maximising value for money for the taxpayer. The Government may have failed to reap the benefits of the sale of Royal Mail assets included at privatisation. These assets included 3 sites in London valued by BIS at around £200 million but reported by the NAO to possess a 'hidden value' worth £330m to £830m. The Government ignored established NAO recommendations that these assets should either be removed from the privatisation process or that claw back provisions be inserted on the future sale of the properties. Many of the priority investors bought cheaply and sold quickly at a profit. The current ownership of Royal Mail by long-term investors has little to do with the Secretary of State's actions. The Committee calls on the Government to publish a list of the preferred investors which includes information on which investors sold their shareholding, when, and at what share-price. The Committee finds that the Government was not well-served by its advisers. While no evidence of inappropriate behaviour was established regarding the external companies advising the Government, the Committee recommends companies advising the Government on share issues should be excluded from becoming a preferred investor

Extent [6], Ev 112p. ISBN 9780215075819
Size N/A Price £14.50
Format Paperback Published 05 Sep 2014
Availability Out of stock - available to order Delivery Delivery options and charges