British government aims to start the privatization process of Royal Mail by selling or floating part of the latter in the autumn of 2013 if its balance sheet continues to improve, media reported on Monday.
Analysts estimate Royal Mail could be worth up to 3 billion to 4 billion pounds (4.77 billion to 6.36 billion U.S. dollars).
According to the report of the Financial Times (FT), the government is attracted to a stock market floatation if the financial environment for initial public offerings improves. Meanwhile, an industry purchase or private equity buyer is also acceptable.
"We see no reason why this company should not be IPO-able. Royal Mail is viewed with a high level of affection by the public. That could easily play well into an IPO situation," FT cited an insider as saying.
The privatization process is expected to begin with a partial sell-off, with another part to be sold later.
The British government got the approval from the European Commission last week to take over Royal Mail's 9.5-billion-pound pension deficit, writing off 1 billion pounds of its 1.7-billion debt.
Royal Mail has been hit heavily in its letters service in recent years by email and social media. The state-owned postal operator of Britain now has a turnover of 9 billion pounds and its operating profit for April to September 2011 rose to 67 million pounds. (1 pound = 1.58 U.S. dollars)