Postal Updates

Royal Mail to be fully privatized after UK government sells stake

Jun 4, 2015, 7 AM
Royal Mail stock photo

Royal Mail is going private. United Kingdom Chancellor George Osborne announced Thursday that the government will be selling off its 30 percent stake in the postal service, according to The Telegraph

The government's final stake in Royal Mail will be sold for approximately £1.5 billion. Osborne, who announced the move as part of a package of £3 billion worth of government cuts, said it's "the right thing to do," The Telegraph reports. 

Other than the government's outgoing 30 percent stake, Royal Mail is 70 percent owned by employees and private investors. 

The announcement was a hot topic on Twitter. "Royal Mail" was trending until around 11 a.m. ET.

Osborne's Twitter account was active announcing and defending the move: 

  • 9:32 a.m. GMT: "When it comes to living within our means, the sooner we start the smoother the ride. So today we are getting on with what we promised."
  • 9:34 a.m. GMT: "We’ll begin selling remaining 30% stake in @RoyalMail - right thing for @RoyalMail, biz & families who depend on it & crucially the taxpayer."
  • 9:35 a.m. GMT: "We were elected as party for working people & will govern as party for working people. We back aspiration & prioritise economic security."

Many users who gave feedback were critical of the move: 

  • @JonathanArnott: "I oppose the Royal Mail sell-off. It's a natural monopoly and should have been kept as such."
  • @DavidSchneider: "In this week's We're All In It Together, George's hedgefund pals get more of Royal Mail while the vulnerable and ill prepare for more cuts."
  • @chrisplettuce: "If the government sells it's remaining 30% stake in @RoyalMail no doubt to wealthy cronies is it still entitled to be called 'Royal' Mail?"
  • @ChukaUmunna: "We opposed the Royal Mail privatisation from the start because it made no sense to nationalise its debts then privatise its profits."
What do you think of the decision to sell off the public stake in Royal Mail? Tell us in the comment section below!