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Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

03 May 2020, 09:56

https://www-thisismoney-co-uk.cdn.amppr ... -Mail.html


A Czech billionaire who owns Sparta Prague football club has launched a raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5 per cent of the postal service.

The swoop by Daniel Kretinsky, who has also recently snapped up stakes in other major European companies, will stoke speculation he could launch a full takeover bid.

Kretinsky – worth a reported £2.7 billion – has bought a 5.35 per cent stake in Royal Mail worth £85 million through the Vesa Equity Investment vehicle that he controls and co-owns with his Slovak business partner Patrik Tkac, the chairman of Czech bank J&T.

Royal Mail shares have tumbled more than 30 per cent this year and it scrapped its dividend at the end of March to conserve cash during the coronavirus crisis.

However, analysts have suggested it may be benefiting from a surge in parcel deliveries in the lockdown.

Kretinsky, who recently contracted coronavirus, made his for tune in energy. He and Tkac have also built up stakes in German retail giant Metro and French supermarket group Casino. Kretinsky, who has been dubbed the 'Czech Sphinx' for being difficult to read, also recently bought a stake in French newspaper Le Monde.

The 44-year-old launched a full takeover bid for Metro last year, but increased his stake to become the largest shareholder after his £5 billion offer was rejected. It is unclear what his intentions are at Royal Mail.

Kretinsky joined J&T in 1999 and formed a powerful partnership with Tkac, a co-founder of the bank. J&T spun off its energy assets in 2009 and Kretinsky became a shareholder in the newly formed company called EPH.

He now owns almost the whole group, which embarked on a buying spree, giving it energy transmission networks and gas pipelines, as well as power plants in the UK.

In recent years, EPH has bought four power stations – Eggborough, North Yorkshire; Lynemouth, Northumberland; Langage, Devon; and South Humber Bank, Lincolnshire.

In March, EPH bought Humbly Grove Energy, an underground gas facility in Hampshire. Reports last month suggested Kretinsky spent his time in self-isolation scouring overseas markets for investments.

He told Reuters: 'Energy will remain a key pillar of our operations and we will indeed explore ways to grow our presence there. However, we are less optimistic in our capability to do so.

'For the diversification strategy I think the existing investments are signalling our way but give us a few weeks to make a more structured announcement.'

Royal Mail declined to comment. A spokesman for EPH did not respond to requests for comment.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

03 May 2020, 15:19

Apparently Aachim Dunnwald, the ' second in command ' of Royal Mail is currently working from his native Germany as well as Rico Black still working from his mansion in Switzerland.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

03 May 2020, 15:39

more to worry about?

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

03 May 2020, 16:11

I'm amazed we've not been the subject of an all out takeover at the current share price, I'm pretty certain the land and property assets alone are worth more than the current SP reflects... without even taking into account that we're still actually a cash generative, profit making going concern.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

04 May 2020, 18:01

He's only bought 5% of our shares, he'd have to have over 50% for control, but as a pretty major shareholder now his ideas will carry a fair bit of weight at any AGM. As a comparison though, I'm pretty sure us posties as a collective group ,own a bigger % even after a lot sold their shares. If we'd all kept them, we would have had a big voice with our voting rights at the AGM's .

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

04 May 2020, 21:35

If he, and any others acting in concert with him, acquire shares amounting to 30% of the voting rights, a full bid becomes mandatory.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

04 May 2020, 23:22

Most likely a passive investment, a takeover bid isn't going to happen. Too many poison pills to swallow.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

05 May 2020, 22:48

I'm pretty sure he's just a bright guy who can see his investment doubling over the next two to three years...and then some more four or five years down the line ?

The way I see it is like this....Mail volumes (parcels) are currently through the roof. It's been like Christmas this past week or so ! "Lockdown" or quarantine is likely to be with us for weeks or more likely months to come ? With shops being shut people are going to get their s**t ( stuff they need or more often than not PERCIEVE they need !) from somewhere....and that somewhere is " the Internet of things" online !

As people we are habitual and this habitual trend is likely to continue even after the curfew has been lifted. More online transactions result in more parcels being ordered and dispatched.... requiring more deliveries. As a delivery company we get the work which generates more revenue...and this should see the share price rise. Dividends will recommence and Royal Mail will once again become a profitable cash cow.

It's come as no real shock to me that RM have capitulated somewhat with the CWU recently on the change to USO that was to be implemented by executive action. Mr Back has seen the revenue rolling in and understands that with the Union on board (to some extent) the money will keep flowing in for the foreseeable ???

I welcome this change of stance from senior management as much I believe in Terry, Dave and the CWU. Here's hoping we can get around the table and produce a mutual benefit solution to our dispute. I think the penny has finally dropped for some in the RM boardroom. And I think our Czech friend knows this too ! ! !

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

06 May 2020, 00:26

Royal Mail backed down because CWU informed the Government and Ofcom about their intentions and they stepped in and assured us that no letters delivered on Saturday is a temporary and voluntary thing.

https://www.royalmailchat.co.uk/communi ... 69&t=95823

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

07 May 2020, 10:07

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on- ... in-sibling

From the article :
“But also the Russians are very strategic thinkers – there organised crime was absolutely central to the emergence of capitalism – and they knew that Hungary and the Czech Republic were striving very fast to get into the European Union and so this was going to be a bridgehead into the EU for their activities. "

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

13 May 2020, 22:04

Decky Boy wrote:I'm pretty sure he's just a bright guy who can see his investment doubling over the next two to three years...and then some more four or five years down the line ?

The way I see it is like this....Mail volumes (parcels) are currently through the roof. It's been like Christmas this past week or so ! "Lockdown" or quarantine is likely to be with us for weeks or more likely months to come ? With shops being shut people are going to get their s**t ( stuff they need or more often than not PERCIEVE they need !) from somewhere....and that somewhere is " the Internet of things" online !

As people we are habitual and this habitual trend is likely to continue even after the curfew has been lifted. More online transactions result in more parcels being ordered and dispatched.... requiring more deliveries. As a delivery company we get the work which generates more revenue...and this should see the share price rise. Dividends will recommence and Royal Mail will once again become a profitable cash cow.

It's come as no real shock to me that RM have capitulated somewhat with the CWU recently on the change to USO that was to be implemented by executive action. Mr Back has seen the revenue rolling in and understands that with the Union on board (to some extent) the money will keep flowing in for the foreseeable ???

I welcome this change of stance from senior management as much I believe in Terry, Dave and the CWU. Here's hoping we can get around the table and produce a mutual benefit solution to our dispute. I think the penny has finally dropped for some in the RM boardroom. And I think our Czech friend knows this too ! ! !


It's been like Christmas the last few weeks - worse in fact! [or better for the business]. I use the leg ache factor - my legs haven't ached this much since I started 3 years ago!

On a serious side - does anyone know what percentage of RM profit comes from parcels?

The way I see this, all this additional parcel business is gravy on top of the normal business level as it comes without any additional costs apart from a bit of overtime and diesel.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

13 May 2020, 22:39

I bet Rico is building up his parcel hubs fund, even with all the people self isolating, he still makes nice profits from all the parcels we deliver.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

14 May 2020, 14:16

stevejm wrote:
The way I see this, all this additional parcel business is gravy on top of the normal business level as it comes without any additional costs apart from a bit of overtime and diesel.

And all the sick pay. And all the overtime. And the lost income from having no revenue protection. And the compensation claims.
Apart from all that they must be coining it in.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

14 May 2020, 18:33

Janet Brum wrote:The swoop by Daniel Kretinsky, who has also recently snapped up stakes in other major European companies, will stoke speculation he could launch a full takeover bid.

And just a few days ago, Daniel Křetínský crossed the pond to swoop down on iconic department store chain Macy's with a 5% investment, becoming one of the top five shareholders.

Bloomberg: Macy’s Attracts Czech Billionaire Investor After Share Drop

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

15 May 2020, 13:08

Has Rico been Czech Mated? Or has he seen the writing on the wall and thinks a Prague spring is on the way for him if he hadn't jumped.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

15 May 2020, 21:42

Interesting, they might be mates and the Czeh knew Rico`s about to resign/ kicked in the butt by higher powers, who knows.

Czech billionaire launches raid on Royal Mail, buying more than 5% of postal service

17 May 2020, 20:19

https://www-thisismoney-co-uk.cdn.amppr ... -100m.html


Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has raised his stake in Royal Mail to above £100 million as the postal service battles its biggest crisis since it was privatised.

A source said Kretinsky was not involved in Back's departure from the company, which was privatised in 2013.

However, speculation is swirling about the intentions of the investor known as the Czech Sphinx after The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this month he had quietly become the company's fourth largest shareholder.

Deutsche Bank analysts advised clients to stop selling Royal Mail shares in case Kretinsky launched a takeover bid that would cause them to rise.

Kretinsky, who owns Czech energy giant EPH which also owns power plants in the UK, last week took a 5 per cent stake in American department store chain Macy's.

Last year, he launched a failed bid for German retailer Metro after building a stake but is still the largest shareholder.

A spokesman for Kretinsky declined to comment on his stake.

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