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UK government to sell its remaining stake in Royal Mail as part of efforts to bring down debt

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LONDON — Britain's Treasury chief says the government will sell its remaining stake in Royal Mail as part of 4.5 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) in new measures meant to bring down the public debt.

George Osborne did not offer Thursday a precise time frame for the sale of the government's 30 percent holding, which is worth an estimated 1.5 billion pounds. He pledged to sell when the government could be sure of getting "value for money," — a nod to the sale of an earlier stake that critics say cost taxpayers millions because it was sold at too low a price.

The Conservative-led government sold a majority stake in the postal service in 2013, putting the system under private control for the first time in its 500-year history.

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