U.K. Said to Seek Buyers for Royal Mail Private Equity Portfolio

The U.K. government is preparing to sell the private equity portfolio it inherited when it took on the Royal Mail Plc pension’s assets and liabilities, people familiar with the matter said.

Evercore Partners Inc. is working with the government to find buyers for the portfolio, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The assets are expected to be worth about 600 million pounds ($736 million), and the proceeds would be used to pay down the national debt, the people said.

The assets, which include investments in U.S. and European buyout funds, are attracting interest from specialist private equity groups, known as secondaries firms, the people said.

Representatives for Evercore and the U.K.’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which is responsible for the portfolio, declined to comment.

The assets were part of the Royal Mail Pension Plan, which was nationalized before the postal service’s flotation in October 2013. The plan, which had about 28 billion pounds in assets at the time, was underfunded and transferring its liabilities to the state was considered a necessary prerequisite for the listing.

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