Royal Mail will be sold by the end of the financial year, but it will not go “cheaply”, according to business minister Michael Fallon.

The MP was at the Policy Exchange this week to discuss the future of the UK’s postal service, reports postandparcel.info. Mr Fallon was also keen to stress that many things will not change in spite of the sale – including its obligation to deliver six days per week and complete deliveries to rural areas.

Currently, the plan is for the business to be sold by the end of the tax year, either via a full initial public offering (IPO) or a private share sale. At least ten per cent of shares will go to an employee share scheme, as postal reforms from 2011 dictate.

Mr Fallon said: “I can categorically state that we have no intention of selling off Royal Mail cheaply. We have not publicly speculated on Royal Mail’s value. We will sell shares in Royal Mail at a fair commercial price that represents value for money for the tax payer.”

According to reuters.com, bank advisors are due to be brought in for a possible stock market listing by the end of May, with Mr Fallon saying that going public is the preferred option. Royal Mail has 150,000 workers and sales of about £9.5 billion – in November 2012, it posted half-year operating profit of £144 million.

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