Royal Mail 'minded' to accept £3.5bn takeover proposal by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky

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Business reporter @taaffems Wednesday 15 May 2024 1538, UKThe owner of Royal Mail has said it is "minded" to accept a revised takeover bid by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky

Business reporter @taaffems

Wednesday 15 May 2024 15:38, UK

The owner of Royal Mail has said it is "minded" to accept a revised takeover bid by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

The latest offer from Mr Kretinsky's investment firm EP Group values the Royal Mail parent company International Distribution Services (IDS) at £3.5bn.

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Mr Kretinsky's firm already owns most of IDS as a 27.6% shareholder but wishes to buy the remaining shares.

An earlier offer of £3.20 a share had been rejected last month for being too low.

But now he has offered to pay £3.60 for each share. The day before the original offer was made a share in IDS cost £2.14.

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An extra shareholder pay out of 8 pence a share has been offered by EP Group, if the deal closes, as has a 2 pence per share payment to every stakeholder, expected to be paid in September.

It would bring the total value of an IDS share to 73% more than it cost before the prospect of a buyout was raised.

'Good value'

"Having considered the proposal, the board has indicated to EP Group that it would be minded to recommend an offer to IDS shareholders", the IDS board said.

The price is "fair" and reflects the value of current growth plans, the IDS chairman said.

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Consideration was given by the board to the national significance of Royal Mail as the operator of the postal network.

"The board is particularly mindful of Royal Mail's unique heritage and responsibilities as the designated universal service provider in the United Kingdom and a key part of national infrastructure", it said.

In assessing the proposal, the board has also been very mindful of the impact on Royal Mail and GLS and their respective stakeholders and employees, as well as broader public interest factors".

EP Group has until 29 May to advance or withdraw its takeover bid.

Who is Daniel Kretinsky?

There has already been scrutiny of Mr Kretinsky's part ownership in the postal company but a government national security concerns review into his investment led to no intervention.

He also owns parts of West Ham Football Club and Sainsbury's.

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