The British government has sold the remainder of its stake in Royal Mail, earning £591.1m from its 13% holding and opting to gift its remaining 1% stake to Royal Mail staff. 

The government said today that it completed the disposal of a 13% stake through an accelerated book building process to institutional investors at a placing price of 455 pence. 

Royal Mail shares had closed at 472.2 pence yesterday, just before the government announced it planned to divest its final stake. 

The government said arrangements were underway to give the final 1% shareholding to Royal Mail's eligible UK staff. 

The disposal ends the government's involvement in the 500-year-old postal operator whose privatisation in 2013 attracted criticism from opposition politicians and trade unions who said the firm had been sold off too cheaply. 

In total, the UK government has raised £3.3 billion from the sale, with proceeds used to pay down the national debt.