After years of speculation, the Royal Mail is finally to be privatised. The number of private investors could run into millions. Should Harvey Jones be one of them?
The Royal Mail is almost 500 years old, and sometimes it feels like politicians have been threatening to privatise it for almost as long. Now, suddenly, it is happening. The government has announced it intends to push ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) within weeks. Should I buy the Royal Mail? Should you?
History is certainly on investors’ side. Past privatisations such as British Telecom (now BT Group) in 1984, British Gas (now BG Group, but owned by Centrica) in 1986 and Rolls-Royce and British Airways (both 1987), have transformed themselves into FTSE 100 powerhouses. Railtrack was a rare flop.