Royal Mail
Royal Mail

Britain's government has launched a search for market participants to help sell Royal Mail shares after inviting stockbrokers to apply and help trade the postal service's stock in an initial public offering.

The near 500-year old institution will be floated by the end of March 2014.

Following the IPO, members of the public will be able to buy shares either through intermediaries or directly from the government, said Britain's minister for business and state enterprise, Michael Fallon.

"UK stockbrokers and share dealing services are being sent information which will outline the arrangements for acting as intermediaries in the retail offer," the statement said.

Fallon added that the retail offer would be an important part of the overall IPO.

Offering a retail investors the opportunity to purchase shares during an IPO is relatively rare. However, these types of market participants are less price sensitive so therefore adding a 'retail element' is only considered, as part of an IPO option, for more established companies.

Who Will Snap Up Royal Mail Shares?

The UK's government assured the British public that they would be able to purchase shares at the same price as institutional shareholders and that intermediaries would not be able to interfere.

According to the information obtained by Bloomberg, notes has been sent to British stockbrokers and share dealing services with the terms of the arrangements for being the intermediaries.

Britain's government, which plans to make an advertising campaign to support its biggest sale in the decade, holds 10% stake in Royal Mail as a part of the flotation.

In July, it was reported that Royal Mail employees would receive shares in the company worth up to £300m ($447m, €348m) for free, rather than at a discount when the company became privatised.

In addition, Whitehall reports said that the employees would also be guaranteed a proportion of the retail element in the IPO.

In the previous year Direct Line sold about 15% of its raised £787m through IPO to retail investors who reportedly have received 5,000 to 6,000 pounds worth shares.