THE GOVERNMENT is in the process of appointing the independent investment bank Lazards to help advise it on the possible flotation or trade sale of the Royal Mail.
Yesterday a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that Lazard was about to be appointed alongside UBS to give advice.
Although the Royal Mail has been primed for possible privatisation, there is still a chance that a trade sale might be the preferred route. Lazard is perceived to be less conflicted in this regard than the integrated banks that would participate and stand to gain more from a large share issue.
The Royal Mail has already enlisted advice from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, alongside its long-term advisers Barclays. The capital markets specialists STJ Advisors advised on the recruitment process of bank selection.
No decision has been made about the timing of a flotation but there are hopes within government that a share sale could include employees being issued with shares. Thousands of retail investors could be enticed to buy shares in a throwback to the public privatisations of the 1980s.