Sometimes, privatization wins in the global economy. 25 years ago, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government decided to privatize British Gas. They urged Brits to purchase shares and they used a well-known advertising slogan “if you see Sid tell him.”
Approximately 1.5 million people purchased shares, at the price of 135p per share. There was a minimum purchase required of 100 shares. As John Douthwaite, chief executive of SimplyStockbroking, explained to the Observer,
“Investors have actually done rather well out of this, making 12 times their original stake if they have held onto their shares over the years. A lot of people know they have the shares, but may not realize their worth.”
The Thatcher Philosophy
Mrs. Thatcher’s philosophy was to create a more privatized policy to create a share-owning democracy. The policy has worked, overall, as most former state-owned companies are now providing quite nicely for investors.
A few of the other companies that have fared well when they privatized include BAA, the airports operator, and Severn Trent, the water company.