Ministers hire UBS for sale of Royal Mail

The government has accelerated its plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail with the appointment of investment bank UBS to help find an investor.

The government has accelerated its plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail with the appointment of investment bank UBS to help find an investor.

The Sunday Times has also learnt that the Department for Business, run by Lord Mandelson, wants to have a deal in place as early as April next year.

Such a goal could prove difficult to achieve given the political sensitivities surrounding its plans and the complexity involved with selling a stake of up to a third to a private-sector investor.

Banking sources believe that the Dutch postal giant TNT is already the frontrunner to form a new “strategic partnership” with the publicly owned Royal Mail.

Several of its large rivals, including Deutsche Post, UPS and Fedex, are thought to be lukewarm about investing in the Royal Mail.

Private equity group CVC, which owns stakes in both the Danish and Belgian postal services, is believed to be interested, but is likely to face strong opposition to its involvement from unions.

Labour’s proposals have provoked dismay among its own ranks as well as the unions.

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