Legislation concerning the Royal Mail company

In parallel with the commencement of the Postal Services Act 2000, the company that was to become the "Post Office company" was established (registered company number 4074919), and on the 4th January 2001 a nomination order was made - nominating this company for the purposes of the Act. At that time this company was named Consignia plc. On the 26th January 2001 it was renamed Consignia Holdings plc. The company is now named Royal Mail Holdings plc. The same order set the 26th March 2001 as the "appointed day" on which the transfer of property, rights, liabilities etc. of the old statutory Post Office corporation would take place to the new plc Post Office company.

As a bit of background, immediately prior to Midnight on the 25th March 2001 the property, rights and liabilities of the Post Office corporation (subject to certain exceptions specified in the Postal Services Act 2000) were hived-down to a subsidiary of that corporation called Consignia plc (registered number 4138203) via a scheme made under section 60 of the British Telecommunications Act 1981. You will note that this is not the same company as discussed above - this operating subsidiary of the corporation was renamed to Consignia plc at the same time as the new plc Post Office company was renamed from Consignia plc to Consignia Holdings plc (i.e. on 26th January 2001).

At midnight on the 25th March 2001, ownership of this operating subsidiary was then transferred from the corporation to the new plc Post Office company (Consignia Holdings plc). So Consignia plc (where this business of the old Post Office corporation was hived-down to) became an operating subsidiary of Consignia Holdings plc. On the 4th November 2002 the holding company was renamed Royal Mail Holdings plc and the operating subsidiary was renamed Royal Mail Group plc. On the 20th March 2007 Royal Mail Group plc became Royal Mail Group Ltd.

Royal Mail Holdings plc is wholly owned by Government. The HM Treasury Solicitor holds 1 ordinary share (as a nominee of HM Treasury) and the Secretary of State holds 50,004 ordinary shares plus 1 special share. HM Treasury hold a share because company law requires a plc to have a minimum of two shareholders. The special share allows the Government to exercise influence over the company within prescribed limits set out in the company's Memorandum and Articles of Association.


This Order set the 1st May 2007 as the date of Dissolution of the old statutory Post Office corporation. As mentioned above, in March 2001 the majority of the business, property, rights and liabilities from the statutory corporation were transferred to a newly created plc company. Following that transfer, the old Post Office corporation and the new Post Office company were required by Paragraph 9 of Schedule 3 to the Postal Services Act 2000 to take all such steps that were necessary to secure the vesting in the new company, by virtue of section 62 of the Act, of any foreign property, right or liability is effective under the relevant foreign law. In light of this, the Act also included provision (section 75) to dissolve the statutory corporation at an appropriate time.