Royal Mail slump ‘vindicates’ £3.3bn sale price, says former business secretary Vince Cable
The crisis at Royal Mail ‘vindicates’ the Government’s decision to sell it for £3.3billion, according to former business secretary Sir Vince Cable.
The Liberal Democrat politician faced a barrage of criticism for offloading Royal Mail on the cheap when it was privatised at 330p a share in 2013.
But with shares now at 225p, and the company facing annual losses of close to £650million, Cable defended the move.
Liberal Democrat politician Vince Cable faced a barrage of criticism for offloading Royal Mail on the cheap when it was privatised at 330p a share in 2013
Saying the decision to sell shares at 330p had been ‘long since vindicated’, he said: ‘The Government got as good a deal as we could get.’
Royal Mail, which dates back to 1516, was privatised in 2013 when Cable was business secretary under Tory prime minister David Cameron.
The pricing of the shares was subject to intense criticism.
They reached 590p in 2014 and peaked above 600p in 2018. Among those outraged at the price was former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, then shadow business secretary, who said it was being sold ‘on the cheap’.
But Cable, 79, said his assessment of Royal Mail’s value was correct.
Umunna, who became notorious for switching parties before losing his seat in 2019, is now a banker for JP Morgan where he is advising billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky – dubbed the Czech Sphinx – who owns a 23 per cent stake in Royal Mail.
With Royal Mail in crisis, speculation is mounting that Kretinsky could be plotting a takeover.