The government has sold its remaining stake in Royal Mail, raising more than £591 million.

One per cent was given to Royal Mail workers, with the remaining 13% sold at 455p per share. The final share sale means the government has raised around £3.3 billion from the privatisation of Royal Mail.

It brings to an end a process that started in December 2013 in controversial fashion. In addition to controversy over the decision to privatise the company in the first place, the government faced huge criticism for its initial sale price.

The first batch of Royal Mail shares were sold for 330p each. Soon after, its share price almost doubled. Last year, then business secretary Vince Cable commissioned a report that found the government could have made an extra £180m on the sale.

His replacement, Sajid Javid described the final sale as a "truly historic day for Royal Mail".

He said: "We have delivered on our promise to sell the government's entire remaining stake, which means that for the very first time, the company is now wholly owned by its employees and private investors."

The Communication Workers Union criticised the latest sale, labeling it a "disgrace".

"The remaining government share in this profitable company should have been used to safeguard the public's voice in Royal Mail and ensure the continuation of daily deliveries to every address in the country," said CWU general secretary Dave Ward.

"The Tories have instead chosen an ideological course that puts the fundamental ethos of a centuries-old national institution in jeopardy."