Britain Plans To Privatize Royal Mail

British officials unveiled plans Thursday morning to sell the majority of its centuries old postal service. It's the largest privatization of a government service the country has seen in decades. The public offering of the world's oldest postal service would take place in the coming weeks.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with the sale of the Royal Mail.

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MONTAGNE: British unveiled plans this morning to sell the majority of its centuries old postal service. It's the largest privatization of a government service the country has seen in decades. The public offering of the world's oldest postal service would take place in the coming weeks.

The Royal Mail traces its roots to a service founded by Henry VIII in 1516. Analysts say it would fetch more than $4 billion. The Department for Business says 10 percent of the shares will be given to the Royal Mail's staff.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

I wonder if they occasionally have one of those news stories about someone finding a $300 or $400 year-old letter that's finally been delivered, dropped behind a desk somewhere.

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