Royal Mail is to bail out of Camelot

Saturday December 5th 2009

On 14th November we brought you the news that four of the five shareholders in Camelot, who operate the National Lottery in the UK were to sell their stake. The remaining shareholder in the National Lottery operator was Royal Mail and we can bring you news today that Royal Mail is to bail out of Camelot, which had been anticipated from the beginning of the sell off process.

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It is thought that the move came after other shareholders of the National Lottery operator, Camelot had put the pressure on Royal Mail to sell as this would simplify the process and also give a much higher chance of obtaining the top end of the price range of £400 - £500 million for Camelot as a whole.

There is nine years left on the license for Camelot to run the National Lottery with the option to extend for another five years and the sale has attracted a number of private equity firms.

The sell off process for the lottery operator has already  entered the second stage and Sir Richard Branson is one of the leading candidates to acquire the business. After previous failed attempts to take over the running of the National Lottery, this would prove to be a historical victory for Branson if he were to succeed in his bid to take over Camelot. Branson has also teamed up with Peoples Postcode Lottery of Holland to assist his bid to buy out Camelot. Branson does face fierce competition from the operator of the French National Lottery, who is also thought to be another top contender to acquire Camelot. Either way, lottery players, will at some stage, buy lottery tickets and play the lottery through a new operator of sorts.

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