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British postal service sell-off plan may be delayed: minister

British postal service sell-off plan may be delayed: minister

The planned part-privatization of Britain's Royal Mail postal service is likely to be delayed, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said yesterday, amid strong political opposition to the scheme.
Mandelson told the Financial Times that although he had planned to present legislation to parliament before its near-three month summer break from July 21, the plans are being "jostled" for space.
"I want to retain the slot, but... I have to concede that the original linking of the legislative passage and the bidding process for the strategic partner has been decoupled," he said.
Mandelson, effectively Britain's deputy prime minister, highlighted the depressed state of the market as a reason for the delay - so far, the only bidder is private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
The plan to sell off up to 30 percent of Royal Mail is also facing strong opposition from trade unions - a vital source of funding for the ruling Labour party - and backbench Labour lawmakers.
A total of 182 members of parliament have signed a parliamentary motion voicing opposition to the plans.