A Department for Business spokesperson said:
The Business Secretary has today authorised a sale process to begin. Current market conditions represent a good opportunity to achieve value for the taxpayer.
The universal 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 government holds just under a 30% stake in the company, with the remaining shares held by a combination of employees and private investors.
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.
Notes to editors
- On 4 June 2015 the Chancellor announced that the government will sell its remaining shares in the Royal Mail.
- On 8 June 2015 the government published a report explaining the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Royal Mail.