At the monthly question time to the Business, Innovation and Skills Department in April, I raised the question as to who benefited from the Government’s mishandled privatisation of the Royal Mail.
I asked the Minister with responsibility if he would publish the list of 16 “priority investors” that the Government had sold larger allocations of shares to due to a willingness to buy sizeable stakes for the long-term.
However, as the National Audit Office (NAO) report which I wrote about last month found, almost half of these “priority investors” sold their stakes within weeks as the Royal Mail share price rocketed, while others sold out completely, raising millions of pounds for their clients. Meanwhile, taxpayers were left shortchanged as the Government dramatically undervalued our much-loved postal provider.
It took another twenty days before Ministers eventually published the list of “priority investors” after repeated questions from the Opposition.
The Business Secretary’s claims to have prioritised long-term investors now lie in tatters, and the City has made a fast buck at taxpayers’ expense. This list which I have included below includes both Lazard Asset Management, and a hedge fund with links to the Conservative Party.
The full scale of the mishandling of the sale of Royal Mail by David Cameron’s government is now becoming clear and serious questions for ministers are mounting. Taxpayers have been left hugely short changed at a time when families are being hit by a cost-of-living crisis.
The list of priority investors released by the BIS Department:
- Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
- Capital Research
- Fidelity Worldwide
- JP Morgan
- Kuwait Investment Office
- Lansdowne Partners
- Lazard Asset Management
- Och Ziff
- Standard Life
- Third Point