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Czech-mate for Royal Mail

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Czech-mate for Royal Mail
NEW OWNER: No change to Royal Mail, Kretinsky pledged
Photo credit: Flickr/Kai Hendry


Royal Mail s parent company International Distributions Services (IDS) has agreed to a £3.57 billion (€4.2 billion) takeover by Daniel Kretinsky.


The Czech billionaire, who has a stake in Sainsbury’s and West Ham FC, is already IDS’s largest shareholder through his company EP Group and will acquire the 73 per cent of Royal Mail that he does not yet own.


“The EP Group has the utmost respect for Royal Mail’s history and tradition,” declared a statement from the man known as the Czech Sphinx. “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.”


The deal includes the legal obligation to maintain Royal Mail’s Saturday deliveries and the first class one-price-goes anywhere pledge.  Kretinsky has also guaranteed that he would protect the Royal Mail brand, which goes back 500 years, and that there would be no job cuts. The company will retain its headquarters and tax-residency in the UK for at least five years, he stated.


The Royal Mail deal needs the approval of IDS shareholders at the annual general meeting in September and could still be obstructed under the UK’s National Security and Investment Act.


Meanwhile, although IDS shares rose by 3 per cent to 331p (€3.89) when markets opened on May 29, the price fell short of EP’s Royal Mail offer of 360p (€4.23) per share.


This suggested the markets were not entirely certain that the deal would definitely go through, City analysts said.


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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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