London - Britain is on track to sell shares in Royal Mail at the top of its range, two sources close to the deal said on Tuesday, valuing the company at more than $5 billion on the final day investors can put in orders for the stock.
Despite the threat of strike action from delivery staff and criticism from opposition lawmakers, the government is close to completing the sale of a majority stake in the 500-year-old Royal Mail.
The privatisation, which would value Royal Mail at 3.3 billion pounds ($5.3 billion), is one of Britain's biggest since John Major's Conservative government sold the railways in the 1990s.
The stock market offering has received strong demand from the outset, and investors have now been told those with orders below 330 pence per share, the top of an original 260p-330p range, risk missing out on the stock, the sources said.
Investors have also been warned that due to strong demand, they should expect their orders to be scaled back.
On Monday British Business Secretary Vince Cable accused the opposition Labour party of irresponsibly talking up the value of Royal Mail, whose shares are due to start trading on Friday.
Labour is opposed to the timing of the sale, which it says is designed to patch up Britain's public finances, but has resisted calls from party activists and trade unions to pledge to renationalise the firm if it wins power in a 2015 election.
Institutional investors have until 18:00 SA time to put in orders for shares in the postal service, while individual retail buyers have until 23:59 SA time. - Reuters