Royal Mail Slides On Government Plan To Sell Off 30% Stake

MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Royal Mail PLC slid 3.2% in afternoon action on Thursday after U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the U.K. government will sell its remaining 30% stake in the company. "It is the right thing to do for the Royal Mail, the businesses and families who depend on it -- and crucially for the taxpayer," Osborne said. The Treasury chief said the 30% stake is worth about 1.5 billion pounds ($2.31 billion) and that the government will only sell when it can be sure sure it's getting value for money. "We [will] use the money we get to pay down the national debt and pay less interest on that debt as a result," Osborne said. Royal Mail was partially privatized in 2013, with an IPO price of �3.30 per share. It traded around �5.09 a share on Thursday.

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