Royal Mail to sell its National Lottery shares

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Lottery News

The Royal Mail has changed its decision to retain the 20% share in the UK National Lottery operator Camelot. After pressure from other Camelot shareholders the Royal Mail is to sell its National Lottery shares and take the £60-70 million which is thought to be on offer when the next round of bidding for Camelot takes place in January.

On Tuesday Online Lotto bought you the news that Sir Richard Branson wants the Lottery operator license and he was teaming up with Dutch lottery company, the People’s Postcode Lottery to launch a bid for Camelot and the National Lottery operator license. But now that the Royal Mail has decided to sell its Camelot shares the opportunity to take control of the entire UK National Lottery will look much more appealing to all bidders, not just Sir Richard Branson.

Ever since the four Camelot shareholders of Cadbury, De La Rue, Fujitsu and Thales decided to sell their share of the National Lottery operator the Royal Mail has been under increasing pressure to sell their share as well, to maximise the sale value. The Royal Mail, which has been facing financial difficulties, has finally bowed to the pressure and cash in its Camelot shares meaning that another company or consortium can now come in and acquire the entire UK National Lottery business without a minor shareholder.

As the UK National Lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission there should be little change to how we play the lottery but a new owner may well mean a breath of fresh air to our 15-year-old lottery. Camelot has recently signed a deal to advertise the California State Lottery and also has lottery consultancy deals in place with major lotteries around the world, making it even more attractive to prospective buyers.