The Government have announced the sell off of Royal Mail will be at a price of between £2.60 and £3.30 per share, which values Royal Mail between £2.6bn and £3.3bn. It already looks like a state backed Singapore fund could hoover up a large shareholding according to Sky News.
Ordinary investors (i.e. you and me) can apply to buy back the stake that we already own in Royal Mail, but we’ll have to cough up at least £750 for the privilege. 10% of the shares will automatically be distributed amongst qualifying Royal Mail workers giving them a nominal stake of around £2000 each. However depending how many shares are sold the country will still own between 30% and 49.9% of Royal Mail.
The CWU sent ballot papers out on Friday, coincidentally the same day the government decided to rush out the share prospectus. The ballot closes on the 16th October with the result scheduled to be announced the same day. The earliest a strike could take place is the 23rd of October.
Applications for Royal Mail shares must be in by the 8th of October and the chances are high that by the time a strike can be called on the 23rd the government will have safely flogged the company off to the highest bidders. It’s expected that shares will begin to trade on the London Stock Exchange on the 11th of October according to the government press release.
Don’t expect the CWU to give up just because the Royal Mail shares have been sold though, Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary has already said that “postal workers and the CWU will continue to fight to save services as well as defend their terms and conditions”.