The U.K. Department of Business appointed Investec Plc (INVP), Nomura Holdings Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada to junior roles in the sale of Royal Mail Group Ltd., according to a person familiar with the decision.
The department appointed UBS AG (UBSN) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on May 29, Barclays Plc as joint bookrunner and sponsor, and Bank of America (BAC:US) Merrill Lynch as joint bookrunner for the deal. Total fees if the deal goes ahead will be in the region of 10 million pounds ($15 million) to 15 million pounds, said the person, who declined to be identified because details are not yet public.
While no final decision has been taken about how or when to sell the state-owned postal service, according to the department, the government has said its preferred option is an initial public offering by the end of the current financial year next March.
The planned sale of Royal Mail will be the largest privatization in Britain since former Prime Minister John Major broke up the country’s railway in the 1990s. The 360-year-old company, one of the nation’s biggest employers with about 159,000 staff, has sought to adapt its letter-focused network to more lucrative package delivery in the face of competition from TNT NV of the Netherlands and Deutsche Post AG (DPW)’s DHL Express unit.
Royal Mail’s operating profit more than doubled in the year to March 31 to 403 million pounds as growth in web-based shopping spurred parcel deliveries. While sales gained 5 percent to 9.28 billion pounds, parcel revenue rose 9 percent.
Royal Mail in May appointed Equiniti Group to manage the distribution of 10 percent of its shares to employees following any sale.
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