Royal Mail sets IPO price range

The UK government has confirmed that Royal Mail will float on the stock exchange next month.

If our Royal Mail grey market is any indication, it seems likely that many investors will be eager to take up an allocation in the float. Our client-led trading has seen the inferred valuation of the company reach £3 billion, as the vast majority of clients have gone long on its market capitalisation at the end of the first trading day.

The government has said that shares will be sold in a range between 260p and 330p, giving the company a market capitalisation of between £2.6 to £3.3 billion. This would put the company on the cusp of the FTSE 100.

As a general rule when a company floats, the lead broker will try to ensure that the price offered leaves room for added value to be attributed by the market, and that institutions are left needing to top up their allocation after it has started to trade. Although this is always a little tricky to ensure, the fact that in less than a year there will be a guaranteed dividend attached to the stock will, in this income-tough environment, give the stock appeal.

The worries that some will have are probably twofold; firstly the fact that Royal Mail will have to maintain a postal delivery service throughout the UK at a standard cost – an area of the business that is arguably more of a hindrance than an asset. The second concern is the likely battles it will have with the trade unions, which have a solid grip of the workforce.

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