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Royal Mail sale prompts review.

Byline: Alan Jones

AREVIEW has been launched into the process for selling Government assets following controversy over the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Former City Minister Lord Myners will chair a panel of experts to look at alternatives to the Initial Public Oerings (IPOs) as well as looking into the so-called "book building" process used ahead of a share sale to gauge investor demand.

e review, launched by the Business Department, was one of the recommendations made by the National Audit Oce in its report into the Government's sale of Royal Mail last November.

e department said it will inform future decision-making in the disposal of shares owned by government.

Business Secretary Vince Cable V said: "I have asked Lord Myners to conduct this review, following the recommendations of the National Audit Oce, to help me assess whether changes are needed to the current system Government operates for the sale of its assets.

"Lord Myners is uniquely quali-ed to carry out this work, with a background in government and the City. I look forward to reviewing his ndings and recommendations in due course." e review follows controversy over the PS3.3 billion sell-o of Royal Mail, which sparked complaints that the coalition sold shares too cheaply. e Government initially priced Royal Mail shares at 330p each, but they immediately increased in value, leading to attacks on the Government for allowing City investors to cash in at the expense of taxpayers.

e Business Secretary has always rejected claims that the Government sold o Royal Mail too cheaply.

e Business Select Committee will publish a report on the privatisation later this week.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2014
Words:269
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