Firms gather to sort Royal Mail potential sell-off

Firms gather to sort Royal Mail potential sell-offA group of elite City firms has won roles on a possible private sector investment in Royal Mail, with Slaughter and May advising the potential target.

Slaughters corporate partner Jeff Triggs, who has a longstanding relationship with the national postal service, is leading the team advising Royal Mail.

Triggs has been involved on the matter since an independent review into Royal Mail’s future, which was published last December, found that the service should be allowed to enter into partnerships with ­private sector companies.

So far only two potential bidders have come forward, with Dutch mail delivery company TNT and private equity house CVC Capital Partners both expressing an interest.

TNT is being advised by Allen & Overy Amsterdam partner Jan Louis Burg­graaf, while it is understood that CVC has turned to regular adviser James Baird, a partner at Clifford Chance.

While any private equity stake in a public service business would prove controversial, CVC is experienced in the sector having bought a stake in Post Danmark from the Danish state in 2005, followed by positions in the Belgian and Swedish postal services.

The Government is ­facing a backbench revolt after backing plans to sell a stake in Royal Mail, with a ­number of Labour MPs signing an early-day motion warning that by selling a stake in the business the Government would damage a ;longstanding ;public ­service.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has backed the recommendations of the review, which was carried out by former Ofcom deputy chairman Richard Hooper.

Magic ;circle ;firm ­Freshfields ;Bruckhaus Deringer has been instructed by the Government on the matter, with corporate partner ;­Martin ;Nelson-Jones ­leading the advice.

At Slaughters, Triggs’s team includes corporate partner Mark Bennett, ­pensions partner Sandeep Maudgil, ;tax ;partner ­Graham Airs and competition partner Isabel Taylor.

The firms involved were unavailable for comment.

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