How popular is the sale of Royal Mail?
David Cameron calls it ‘popular capitalism‘. He is referring to the fact that the flotation of the Royal Mail was oversubscribed many times. On the back of this he is planning even more sell-offs. But how many people could actually afford the £750 required to buy the minimum amount of shares in the company? Very few, I would think. Only the well off have that sort of money to spare these days.
As for us employees, well we had the right to buy shares at a reduced rate, as well as the shares that we were given. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any spare money either, and I can’t imagine that many employees would have taken up the offer. Except on the highest level of management, that is, where, once again, certain people, including chief executive Moya Greene, have done extremely well.
Eleven directors have between them more than 35,000 shares in the firm. Those shares started off being worth around £115,500 but are now worth more than £168,000.
Moya Greene has 3,643 shares in the company. They started off being worth just over £12,000 but were worth £17,300 within less than a week.
Ms Greene’s basic salary is £498,000, but other benefits mean her total package is around £1.1m.
Meanwhile Peter Davies, a member of management committee for Lansdowne Partners, and a close friend of George Osborne, saw the value of his company’s shares rise by £18 million after just one day’s trading.
In fact 67% of the British public were against the privatisation. Only 4% were ’strongly’ in favor. 96% of Royal Mail employees were against the sale.
In other words, what Cameron really means when he refers to the popularity of the sale is that it is popular with investors and with higher management. With his friends, in other words. They’re obviously the only ones that Cameron thinks are important.