Cable to refresh Royal Mail privatisation plans

VINCE Cable has asked the man behind plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail to see whether a full stock market flotation or sale to a trade buyer could unlock more value in current market conditions.

In his first report, former deputy chairman of Ofcom Richard Hooper recommended a strategic partnership with a private player, essentially a part-privatisation.

But the business secretary has asked him to “refresh” his report in light of current market conditions and significant progress in modernising the state-owned postal service.

Cable said: “Unless we take the right steps, Royal Mail risks being laid low by falling mail volumes, low investment and a huge pensions time bomb.

“We want to deal with these challenges and will be coming forward with new legislation to do just that.

“We believe that Richard Hooper’s recommendations and analysis are still broadly valid today, but as our policy develops we want to be able to test it against current market conditions.”

Richard Hooper said: “The pace of modernisation at Royal Mail is quickening and therefore the value you can get from privatisation will grow.”