Royal Mail to deliver IPO by fall 2013 - FT

LONDON, March 25 Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:39pm EDT

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LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - The British government aims to begin the privatization of Royal Mail by selling or floating at least part of it in the fall of 2013, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The offering, which could take place if the state-owned postal operator's finances continue to improve, is expected to fetch between 3 billion pounds to 4 billion pounds ($4.76 billion-$6.35 billion), the FT said.

The business newspaper cited people close to the sale process as saying the government is attracted to a stock market flotation if the financial climate for initial public offerings improves.

A flotation is likely to involve a sale of shares to the public as well as institutions, backed by a marketing effort, according to the article.

Privatization is likely to begin with a partial sell-off, with the rest sold later, but a full sale at the outset has not been ruled out, the FT said.

Royal Mail employees would get a stake of at least 10 percent when privatization is completed, while the Post Office network would remain in the public sector and may be mutualized.

Royal Mail could not be reached for immediate comment.