Home / Royal Mail / Britain’s 500-year-old Royal Mail bought for £3.57billion by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Group – The Sun

Britain’s 500-year-old Royal Mail bought for £3.57billion by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Group – The Sun

BRITAIN’S 500 year-old Royal Mail has been bought by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky for £3.57billion after its parent firm agreed to a takeover.

International Distribution Services (IDS) said its board of directors has accepted the takeover bid from shareholder Kretinsky.


Royal Mail has agreed a takeover dealCredit: Alamy
Daniel Kretinsky will pay £3.57billion for the firm


Daniel Kretinsky will pay £3.57billion for the firmCredit: AFP

Kretinsky’s EP Group already owns 27.6% of IDS and made a formal offer for the business earlier this month.

The deal will now be considered by regulators and shareholders will vote on it at the firm’s next annual general meeting in September.

The company’s parent firm confirmed that it’s branding and UK headquarters would remain as part of the deal.

It also said it would uphold it’s promise to “one-price-goes-anywhere” first class post six days a week.

It also added that all employment rights to staff would be protected.

IDS chairman Keith Williams said: “Our business has the potential to become a leading international logistics player.

“Both the IDS board and EP are acutely aware of their responsibilities to IDS and particularly to the unique heritage of Royal Mail.

“It has obligations as the designated Universal Service Provider of postal services in the UK.

“The IDS Board has negotiated a far-reaching package of legally binding undertakings and commitments.

“They provide our customers, employees and broader stakeholders with important safeguards.

“These cover the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service Obligation – including First Class letters still delivered six days a week.

“It also secures the financial stability and maintenance of the IDS Group including Royal Mail.

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“It will maintain employee benefits and pensions, and ensure Royal Mail remains headquartered and tax resident in the UK.”

If approved the deal means that the EP Group would face the challenge of a decline in demand for letters but a rise in competition for parcel deliveries.

Last month, the price of a first class stamp was increased to £1.35 and a second class stamp went up to 85p. This is up from 85p and 66p respectively two years ago.

The takeover comes after Royal Mail, which is 508 years old, said it was mulling a new bombshell plan to reduce second-class post and could result in 1,000 job losses.

Under the cost-saving plans second-class letters will be delivered only every other weekday.

In 2022-23 the company only delivered 73.7% of first class and 90.7% of second class mail on time.

It applied to Ofcom earlier this month for approval.

It also follows years of growing public dissatisfaction in the service in the decade since it was fully privatised.

This has been compounded by a series of staff walk outs over pay.

Who is Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky?

DANIEL Kretinsky is a major investor in West Ham, Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s.

The “Czech Sphinx” made his money through his energy firm company EPH, which has expanded into Britain.

EPH owns four UK power plants: Eggborough in North Yorkshire, Lynemouth in Northumberland, Langage in Devon and South Humber Bank in Lincolnshire.

In 2020, the law graduate increased his shares in Royal Mail – amassing a £250million stake in the historic FTSE250 company.

A month later, his holding company Vesa Equity Investment Sarl became the second largest shareholder of J Sainsbury, when they acquired a ten per cent stake in the supermarket chain.

Kretinsky also struck deals to own US trainer store Foot Locker, as well as American shopping centre Macy’s.

He is now set to be the owner of Royal Mail following his successful takeover bid.

Although he keeps his personal life private, Kretinsky is reportedly dating Olympic showjumper Anna Kellnerova, who is 22 years his junior.

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