Britain’s Royal Mail will be valued at up to £3.3 billion when its controversial privatisation takes place next month, the country’s Government has said.

Shares are expected to be priced at between 260p and 330p, giving a market valuation in the range of £2.6 billion and £3.3 billion.

Unconditional dealings in the stock will start on 15 October, which is the day before voting closes in a ballot by the Communication Workers Union over whether to back a campaign of industrial action on the sale.

Any strike action would start a week later.

Around 150,000 eligible staff will be handed 10% of shares in the largest free stock offer of any privatisation in Britain over the past 30 years.

This is equivalent to around £2,000 each at the mid-point of today's offer price range.