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Royal Mail on the Brink of Sale to Czech Billionaire

Royal Mail
  • Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Group has made a revised £3.5bn takeover bid for International Distribution Services, valuing IDS shares at £3.60 each.
  • The IDS board is inclined to recommend the offer, considering it fair and reflective of growth plans, with the bid also addressing Royal Mail’s national significance and public interest factors.

Royal Mail owner International Distribution Services has indicated it may accept Daniel Kretinsky’s revised takeover bid of £3.5bn from investment firm EP Group, valued by Mr Kretinsky himself as their takeover offer for International Distribution Services (IDS) parent company International Distribution Services.

Mr Kretinsky’s firm already owns most of IDS as its 27.6% shareholder but desires to acquire any remaining shares that it does not already possess for £3.20 per share offered previously but this was turned down.

Now he is offering £3.60 per share compared to IDS shares costing £2.14 on April 28.

EP Group has offered to pay out 8 pence per share extra in shareholder dividends should their deal close, in addition to making payments of 2 pence per stakeholder slated for payment this September.

Under such a plan, IDS shares would be valued 73% higher than they cost prior to speculation of a buyout being raised.

“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.

The board took into account Royal Mail’s national significance as 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.

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