Banks hired to lead Royal Mail privatisation

ROYAL Mail’s plans for a £3bn IPO later this year took a step forward yesterday, after Goldman Sachs and UBS were hired to work as lead advisers on the biggest UK privatisation in 20 years.

Although the banks will celebrate winning the prestigious account, it is understood that the department of business, innovation and skills haggled their fees down to around half what they would normally charge for such a transaction.

The government is keen to avoid the impression that the flotation will benefit the City rather than the Treasury and Royal Mail’s workers. To this end around 10 per cent of the company’s shares will be allocated to staff, although the distribution terms have yet to be announced.

While an IPO is almost guaranteed, business minister Michael Fallon said the final decision to go public has not been taken: “All options for the form of sale remain open... it is important that we are in a position to move ahead swiftly with our chosen route once we take the final decision.”

Neither Goldman Sachs nor UBS were willing to provide the names of the individuals working on the deal.