UK Government Pumps £1.9bn into Consignia Rescue

17 June 2002

In a bid to pull back Britain’s state-owned postal group Consignia from the brink of insolvency, the government has agreed to an immediate cash injection of £1.9 billion ($2.81bn; €2.97bn).

In effect, the Blair administration is handing back the mandatory dividends successive governments of varied political hue have milked from the ailing postal group over past decades. The rebate, intended to fund the group’s restructuring, follows Consignia’s announcement last week of a massive annual loss of £1.1 billion [WAMN: 13-Jun-02].

Consignia, soon to revert to the name by which the world has known it for the last century or so – the Royal Mail Group – will also be absolved from paying the £64m due to the government for the 2001-02 fiscal just ended.

Meantime, Consignia’s new chairman Allan Leighton, the former Asda supermarket boss whose commercial ability is a given, is now under pressure to devote more time to helming the sickly postal group. He currently shoehorns just two days a week to running Consignia - one of Britain's largest companies - alongside his ten other directorships.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff