UK Government to take on Royal Mail pensionsMonday, March 19th, 2012
The Financial Times reports that the UK government will take over Royal Mail’s pension obligations in order to make the service easier to sell off:
Whitehall officials hope the European Commission will approve the government’s takeover of the state-owned postal service’s estimated £4.6bn pension deficit and its write-off of about £1bn of the company’s £1.7bn debt by the end of this month.
Without the pension fund, the state-owned postal operator should be more attractive to private investors.
While that may help, the FT notes that no one seems particularly interested in buying Royal Mail, and suggests that one alternative is “a partial sale to a private equity company followed by a stock market flotation at a later date”.