LONDON – The British government says it will raise 1.72 billion pounds ($2.75 billion) from the sale of a majority stake in Royal Mail.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said Thursday that the shares will be sold for 330 pence each — the top end of the price range the government had set for the sale. The shares begin trading openly next week on the London Stock Exchange.
But the sale of a service which traces its history to King Henry VIII has been controversial. The opposition Labour Party has charged that the government undervalued the company, and that taxpayers will be shortchanged.
Cable says more than 700,000 retail investors sought shares in the initial public offering, seeking to buy seven times more shares than the government had allocated to small investors.