Post Office to buy foreign business
Saturday 09 January 1999
The deal to acquire German Parcel, due to be announced on Monday, is said to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds. It will give the Post Office its first a presence in mainland Europe.
The move follows the Government's decision last month to lift controls on the Post Office's ability to borrow commercially and enter joint ventures with overseas partners. It was the last important policy decision by Peter Mandelson before he resigned as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry over the Geoffrey Robinson home loan affair.
A Post Office spokesman said the company would be making "the biggest announcement about the company since it was established as as corporation 30 years ago". He would not disclose details, but said it would be "good news for the company and all its customers and employees".
The organisation has pressed for more commercial freedom and a cut in the pounds 320m dividend it pays the Treasury in order to put it on an equal footing with rival international post offices. It served notice immediately after the Government review that it intended to push ahead with a number of projects to expand internationally, particularly in mainland Europe.
Germany's Deutsche Post recently bought a 50 per cent stake in Securicor's parcel delivery business and a 25 per cent stake in courier firm DHL International. The privatised Dutch post office, meanwhile, took over TNT last year.
The UK's Post Office has entered into two small joint ventures with private operators in Sweden, but until now it has been hamstrung by Treasury rules limiting investment in joint ventures with the private sector to pounds 10m.
The Government review in December ruled out privatisation of the Post Office or floating up to 49 per cent of it. But Mr Mandelson made it clear he intended to keep the privatisation option open. His successor at Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers, is another moderniser although he came from the Treasury, which tried to block easing of Post Office controls.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...
£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...