Cable: No apology over handling of Royal Mail sale

The Business Secretary has refused to apologise over the Government's handling of the privatisation of Royal Mail, after a critical report from the spending watchdog. The National Audit Office said ministers sold shares for less than they were worth.

View all 10 updates ›

Govt: Royal Mail sale 'raised almost £2bn'

The Government has defended the sell-off of the Royal Mail in the face of a damning report into its privatisation, saying the flotation rose £2bn for the taxpayer.

BiS permanent secretary and accounting officer Martin Donnelly explained:

Our course of action was appropriate given the significant risks at the time and the fact that the alternative of a failed sale would have been the worst outcome for the taxpayer.

The sale price secured by the Government was based on a comprehensive process of preparation, in which we took extensive professional advice and consulted with more than 500 investors. We have raised almost £2bn for the taxpayers in the process.

By retaining a 30% stake in the business we have made sure taxpayers have benefited from dividend payments and will continue to benefit from share price rises after the sale.

– Martin Donnelly

More on this story