Royal Mail denies talks over potential sale

Britain's Royal Mail said on Thursday (Sep 8) that it was not involved in talks with a private equity firm over a potential sale of the postal group amid clash with its largest labour union over pay.

"We are aware that in recent media interviews, Dave Ward, the general secretary of the CWU has indicated that we are in 'secret talks' with a private equity investment group, he believes, regarding a takeover of Royal Mail," it said in a statement.

"The company wishes to make clear that this is not true. We are involved in no such talks," Royal Mail added.

The Communication and Workers Union (CWU) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Royal Mail's top shareholder Vesa Equity had in July informed the British government that it was planning to increase its stake in the 500-year-old firm to more than 25 per cent from the 22 per cent that it currently owns.

The proposal by Vesa, ultimately controlled by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, is being reviewed by Britain, which is using its new powers under the National Security and Investment Act.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail is locked in a bitter dispute with the CWU, whose postal members have held strikes and plan to hold more this month as the 2 sides have been unable to agree over pay and working conditions. Reuters

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