Czech Investor Daniel Kretínský Acquires Britain's Royal Mail in Multibillion Deal

Czech investor Daniel Kretínský's EP Group has acquired Britain's Royal Mail through a 3.6 billion pound deal. The agreement promises no major job losses and maintains Royal Mail's name and operations. Kretínský already holds a 27% stake in the company and has made various public service commitments to protect the postal service's legacy.


PTI | London | Updated: 29-05-2024 14:23 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 14:23 IST
Czech Investor Daniel Kretínský Acquires Britain's Royal Mail in Multibillion Deal
  • Country:
  • United Kingdom

The owner of Britain's Royal Mail said on Wednesday it has accepted a 3.6 billion pound (USD 4.6 billion) takeover offer from Czech investor Daniel Kretínský.

Under the deal, Kretínský's EP Group would buy International Distribution Services, which owns Royal Mail, for 370 pence (USD 4.72) per share.

Including debt, the deal values IDS at 5.2 billion pounds (USD 6.6 billion).

It said EP Group would offer a series of "contractual commitments and intentions" to protect public service aspects of the 500-year-old postal service.

Long state-owned, Royal Mail was privatized by the UK's Conservative government in 2013 and has struggled financially.

IDS said no major job losses were planned as part of the deal, which must be approved by shareholders. Under the plan, Royal Mail would maintain its name, branding, UK headquarters and obligation to six-day-a-week mail delivery.

Kretínský, who already holds a 27% stake in the Royal Mail's parent company, has a vast, Europe-wide portfolio of business interests. In the Czech Republic, he owns book publishing houses, a sport daily and magazines, and he co-owns French newspaper Le Monde. He has stakes in companies including Macy's, Foot Locker and UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

He also owns a stake in Premier League soccer team West Ham.

Kretínský said his company "has the utmost respect for Royal Mail's history and tradition, and I know that owning this business will come with enormous responsibility -– not just to the employees but to the citizens who rely on its services every day." Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said he welcomed some of the commitments, but added that "the reality is postal workers across the UK have lost all faith in the senior management of Royal Mail and the service has been deliberately run down." "We will meet with EP Group next week and call for a complete reset in employee and industrial relations, the restoration of postal services and further commitments on the future of the company," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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