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Royal Mail hires advisers prior to privatisation


BofAML, Goldman Sachs and Barclays in the frame

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In anticipation of its planned privatisation, UK postal services group Royal Mail has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) and Goldman Sachs as advisers.

In a statement on Monday, it added that Barclays had been confirmed as financial adviser to the group. Barclays already has a banking relationship with Royal Mail.

From the UK government's side, Swiss Bank UBS has been advising the Treasury on the deal which could be the most politically significant privatisation since the sale of British Rail in January 1993.

Royal Mail said that Bank of America and Goldman Sachs would provide it with "additional support relating to early investor soundings to assist with government decision making on the form and timing of a future sale."

However, a spokesperson stressed that a formal appointment pertaining to any future sale had not been made yet. This would be chosen by the coalition government. It is rumoured that a floatation on the London Stock Exchange was Chancellor George Osborne's as well as Royal Mail's preferred option as opposed to an outright private sale.

Market conjecture suggests that a Royal Mail stock listing could take place over the third quarter of 2013 but the group declined to comment on any planned date.

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