New questions asked of Royal Mail sale price

 
David Hellier
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THE CONTROVERSY over the sale of Royal Mail erupted again yesterday when Sky News reported that JP Morgan had valued the company as highly as £9bn as part of a pitch to advise on the transaction.

JP Morgan, which did not get taken on to advise on the flotation, declined to comment.

In the end the bankers that sold Royal Mail shares to institutions and the public settled on a valuation of £3.3bn, which critics have since said was too low.

Lazard, the independent adviser on the transaction, has already been called to appear before MPs to explain why it did not raise the price of Royal Mail shares, which have risen from their float price of 330p to 525p.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), said JP Morgan was one of 21 banks who pitched in May for the task of advising on the sale of Royal Mail shares.

“The proposals included indicative valuations of the company based, in many instances, solely on information already in the public domain,” BIS said in a statement.

“Banks made their own assumptions of Royal Mail’s future performance. The range was wide with the median around £3.6bn.”