Having fired the starting gun on the sale of its remaining stake in Royal Mail last week, the government is out of the blocks and has sold 15% of its shareholding to institutional investors.

A statement from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) this evening (10 June) said it was selling the 150 million ordinary shares via a share placing.

Ahead of this, the government’s stake in Royal Mail was put just shy of 30%, worth around £1.5bn.

The government has subsequently revealed that the placing has now been agreed (the placement will officially complete on 15 June), with the shares sold at 500p each, raising £750m for the exchequer.

"The universal service is strongly protected by law and Ofcom has a duty to ensure its provision. Therefore the government sees no policy reason to retain a stake in Royal Mail," BIS said in a statement.

The sale of the government’s remaining stake will complete the company’s journey from public-to-private road transport heavyweight. It comes as Whistl confirmed it was giving up on its dream to build an end-to-end mail service to rival Royal Mail.