Slaughters delivers on Royal Mail restructure

Slaughter and May has bagged an instruction from Royal Mail on restructuring mandated by a recent piece of legislation.

Corporate partner Jeff Triggs, who is also acting as interim general counsel for Royal Mail, is acting alongside competition partner Isabel Taylor and employment partner Sandeep Maudgil on work generated by the Postal Services Act. Triggs has been in the role for Royal Mail, a longstanding Slaughters client, for four months.

The act was passed by the House of Lords on 10 June and was given Royal Assent on 13 June. The legislation sets out a pathway that could lead to Royal Mail’s eventual privatisation.

Among its provisions are the assumption by the Government of Royal Mail’s pension scheme deficit and the introduction of private capital to the organisation. The legislation allows for the sale of up to 90 per cent of Royal Mail.

Royal Mail’s balance sheet will be restructured by reducing the amount of debt owed to the state, currently valued at £1.7bn. The legislation will also see Royal Mail’s £8.4bn pension deficit taken over by the Government and a restructuring of the balance sheet. Any sale of Royal Mail would need to be approved by the European Commission.

Meanwhile the act also brings regulatory oversight for postal services under the remit of Ofcom, which is expected to establish the new framework early next year.