Italian government to sell 40% of Poste Italiane - in model consultation with unions
The selling of 40% of the profitable Poste Italiane is part of the Italian government's plan to raise 12bn euros to pay back its heavy public debt - presently at just below 133% of GDP. This partial sale of Poste Italiane is hoped to raise between 4 to 6bn euros.
Mario Petitto, General secretary, SLP-CISL union, says "The Italian government's decision to sell a minority share of Poste Italiane is not really a privatization as the company's control will still be 60% public. Moreover, this choice, which is shared by the Italian unions, maintains the uniqueness of Poste Italiane avoiding the division and the sale of important segments of the company. The private minority capital participation will strengthen the concept of an undivided and integrated company that makes up the power of Poste Italiane."
The largest part of Poste Italiane's revenues comes from its successful financial and insurance services, that earned the company 19bn euros revenue out of the total 24bn. Net profit being 1bn euros. Poste Italiane employs 144''000 people.
Mario Petitto continues "Concerning employment aspects this choice will not bring major changes as the Italian Government has made a corporate decision on the ownership of the company not on the industrial model. The company listing is also expected to confer property to postal workers - the Unions have asked for at least 5% - and the possibility for workers to elect their own representative on the Board of Directors of Poste Italiane. This will be an absolute novelty in Italy and could open the way to other companies too.
On February 5 there will be a meeting between the Administrator of Poste Italiane and the Unions of Italian Postal Workers in order to make a first examination of the issue. They will however need several months in order to get the fixing of Poste Italiane ready and to discuss a law in support of such an important operation with the Italian Government."
With liberalization and technology hitting postal workers hard in the EU, the Poste Italiane model - which includes the consultation and participation of unions as well as a strong position in postal finance and insurance - will be very interesting to follow.