Could Royal Mail have been sold for £10bn?

The Guardian has reported today that JP Morgan valued the Royal Mail at £10bn before it was privatised the week before last.

As it stands, the Royal Mail was sold for just £3.3bn but subsequent trading on the open market suggests that £5bn at least is its fair market value. Of course, in the long run we’ll have a clearer view. But it does seem that the government did sell it off rather too cheaply.

A spokesperson from the Business Department, presided over by LibDem MP Vince Cable, said on Thursday: “The banks’ proposals came months before any threat of strike action by the unions, financial market uncertainty in the United States and other factors which the government has already said were taken into consideration in setting a price for the company in September.”

Who knows what we could have got for it? So it’s good the National Audit Office will be investigating and reporting in the Spring. Not that such a report will help much now that the family silver has been sold. The best we can hope for is a Bullseye style ending: “have a look at what you could’ve won.”