Business Secretary Vince Cable today (30 April 2014) released the names of the 16 ‘pilot fishing investors’ who gave government the confidence to launch the Royal Mail Initial Public Offering (IPO) and who were later allocated shares.
I told the BIS Select Committee yesterday [29 April 2014] I wanted to be as helpful and transparent as possible. In that spirit I had already provided the names to the National Audit Office and yesterday I provided the list in confidence to the chairs of the BIS Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. I had been advised that the investors expected confidentiality around their share acquisitions but there has been strong interest in who the investors are and speculation around the names, some of it inaccurate. I have decided the public has an interest in an accurate list being available.
The list of these investors (in alphabetical order) is as follows:
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Kuwait Investment Office
Lazard Asset Management
During late 2012 and 2013, 65 global investment funds were approached to gauge their interest in buying Royal Mail shares at flotation: a number decided not to take the matter further. Twenty one major investors showed the strongest support for the transaction as well as a strong understanding of the company and were approached during the pilot fishing in early September 2013. Sixteen of these investors gave the government the confidence needed to launch the offer and were later allocated shares.