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Britain to sell remainder of Royal Mail stake

A dog walker posts a letter in a Royal Mail post box in Maybury near Woking in southern England March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Monday it would sell the remainder of its stake in Royal Mail (RMG.L), bringing to an end its ownership of a postal service that it started privatising in controversial fashion in 2013.

The government said it planned to sell its remaining 14 percent stake in Royal Mail via an accelerated book build, which will open with immediate effect.

The placing is expected to comprise approximately 140 million of the company's ordinary shares. The shares closed trading on Monday at 470.3 pence, giving the stake a value of around 660 million pounds.

The 2013 privatisation of the 500-year-old postal operator attracted criticism from opposition politicians and trade unions who said the firm had been sold off too cheaply after the shares quickly rose as much as 87 percent.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by William Schomberg)