Royal Mail owner accepts £3.57bn takeover offer from Czech billionaire

Royal Mail owner International Distribution Services says it has accepted a £3.57 billion takeover offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Group.

The offer would see EP Group buy IDS for 370p per share, while offering a series of “contractual commitments and intentions” to protect the public service aspects of Royal Mail.

IDS said that if the deal went through Royal Mail, it would maintain its universal single-price first-class mail service obligation, anywhere, six days a week, and retain the company’s branding and headquarters social in the United Kingdom.

It also said it would protect the existing employment rights of all IDS staff and that there was “no intention to make substantial changes to the overall workforce or reduce the number of frontline workers” beyond existing plans.

The board said the offer reflects “the progress made on change within Royal Mail, as well as the execution risks associated with creating longer-term value for shareholders, in light of uncertainty about the nature and timing of universal service reform and the need for rapid reform and significant strategic investments.

The potential sale has already come under scrutiny, with senior politicians and unions expressing concerns about the future of the postal service, which was privatized in 2013.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch met IDS bosses earlier this month to discuss the deal and highlighted the need to protect services for vulnerable people, those living in remote areas and small businesses.

Mr Kretinsky, who is already a 27% shareholder in IDS, is known as the “Czech Sphinx” and has numerous other investments, including stakes in London football club West Ham United and the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward said on Wednesday: “We welcome some of the commitments that have been made, but the reality is that postal workers across the UK have lost all confidence in senior management at Royal Mail and the service was deliberately managed. down.

“We will meet with the EP Group next week and call for a complete reset of social and industrial relations, the restoration of postal services and new commitments on the future of business.

“We will also engage directly with the Labor Party and other stakeholders to call for a new ownership model for Royal Mail, in which our members and customers will have a direct say in key decisions and the creation of ‘a privileged action which will protect a key part of the UK’s communications infrastructure.