Camelot Stake Sale Attracts PE Interest

(Reuters) – Royal Mail has agreed to sell its 20 percent stake in Camelot, the British national lottery operator, meaning that all shareholders now agree to the sale of the company, reported the Times on Friday.

Fellow shareholders had been pressing Royal Mail to make the move, which simplifies the sale process and increases the likelihood of Camelot reaching the top end of a 300 million pounds ($500.9 million) to 400 million pounds price range, the paper said.

The Times quoted a source familiar with the situation: “If Royal Mail had stayed in as a minority partner, it would have made a sale of the business pretty tricky. At the very least, it would have depressed the price.”

Camelot has a nine-year licence left to run the lottery, and an option to extend that for a further five years. The sale has attracted the interest of a number of private equity firms. [ID:nL649405]

Investment banks Rothschild and Greenhill & Co are running the auction process which recently entered a second round. The next round of bids are due to be submitted next month, the Times said.

Royal Mail, Camelot, Rothschild and Greenhill & Co could not immediately be reached for comment. ($1=.5989 Pound) (Reporting by William James; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman) ((; +44 207 542 9785))