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DM NEWS: Government to privatise Royal Mail in the coming weeks

The Government has announced that it plans to privatise the Royal Mail 'in the coming weeks' and has issued a formal notice to the stock exchange.

However, Whitehall has not been confirmed how much of the service will be privatised. It has said the decision will depend on market conditions and the demand for shares.

150,000 UK-based Royal Mail workers will be given 10 per cent of the shares. Plus, employees will be able to apply for additional shares under an employee priority offer, with a minimum application of £500.

The remaining 90 per cent will be offered to institutional investors and members of the public. The minimum amount members of the public can apply for will be £750.

The sale of the Royal Mail has been met with a mixed reaction, with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) choosing to ballot its members for strike action.

However, business secretary, Vince Cable argued: "HM Government is taking action to secure a healthy future for the company.

"These measures will help ensure the long term sustainability of the six days a week, one-price-goes-anywhere universal postal service."