UK aims to announce Royal Mail IPO on Thursday -Sky
Sept 9 (Reuters) - The British government hopes to announce its plans to float shares of its Royal Mail postal service on Thursday, Sky News reported on its website without citing sources.
The 497-year-old institution is being listed in October to help fund the modernisation of its delivery networks using private cash, in what would be the country's largest privatisation in decades.
Ministers are likely to decide on Wednesday evening to go ahead with the privatisation and announce at 7 am on Thursday their plans for Royal Mail's stock market floatation, Sky News said on its website.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said no final decision had been taken about the timing of the IPO and Royal Mail declined to comment.
Sky added that Lansdowne Partners and Standard Life Investments were among institutions that have hinted at investing in Royal Mail, despite fierce opposition to the privatisation from the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
The CWU, which represents most of the delivery service's 150,000 staff, this month said it would send out strike ballot papers on Sept. 20 if an agreement could not be reached with the government about post-privatisation pay. The CWU rejected Royal Mail's three-year pay offer in July.
As part of the flotation, the government is handing a 10 percent stake in the firm to Royal Mail staff for free.
Goldman Sachs and UBS are acting as lead advisers for the share sale.