Royal Mail owner IDS rejects proposed bid from group led by Czech billionaire

  • West Ham part-owner Daniel Křetínský in takeover bid for Royal Mail owner

A group led by West Ham shareholder and Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský submitted a proposed takeover bid for Royal Mail owner International Distributions Services earlier this month, it has been revealed. 

EP Group said IDS rejected its initial proposal, but added that it ‘looks forward to continuing to engage constructively with the Board as EP Group considers all its options.’

In a statement on Wednesday, EP Group, controlled by Křetínský, said it submitted a ‘non-binding indicative proposal’ to the board of IDS seeking its recommendation for a possible cash offer for the chunk of IDS not already owned by EP Group and its affiliates. 

Rejected: Royal Mail owner IDS rejected a 

Following the release of the statement, IDS shares surged 18.11 per cent or 38.80p to 253.00p, giving the business a valuation of around £2.5billion.

EP Group said: ‘EP Group recognises that Royal Mail is in a challenging situation.

‘Weak financial performance, poor service delivery and a slow transformation, in the face of a market going through structural change, have put the business under unsustainable pressure. 

‘With the increasing competition from multinational companies in the UK postal market, private investment in Royal Mail becomes crucial.’ 

Křetínský, who through Vesa Equity Investment is the biggest shareholder in Royal Mail’s London-listed parent IDS, has reportedly been working with advisers informally in recent months to consider taking over the business. A successful takeover bid would give Křetínský full control of IDS.

Křetínský holds a 27 per cent stake in IDS via investment vehicle Vesa Equity Investment that he founded in 2018 with business partner Patrik Tkac. Vesa Equity also has a stake in J Sainsbury and Foot Locker.

Ambitious: Daniel Křetínský parts owns West Ham and is the biggest shareholder in IDS

Ambitious: Daniel Křetínský parts owns West Ham and is the biggest shareholder in IDS