Badenoch to meet Royal Mail bidder Kretinsky next week | Business News

Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, will next week meet the Czech tycoon who is on the verge of becoming the first foreign owner of Royal Mail in its 500-year history.

Sky News has learnt that Ms Badenoch will hold talks with Daniel Kretinsky after his investment company, EP Group, struck a £3.6bn deal with the board of International Distribution Services (IDS).

A meeting has been provisionally scheduled for the middle of next week, insiders said on Thursday.

The government has not raised any fundamental objection to the takeover, although it will be subjected to a review under the National Security and Investment Act.

Investors appear to believe that there is a significant risk of the offer failing, with shares in IDS trading at a significant discount to Mr Kretinsky’s 370p-a-share bid.

Follow live:
General election latest

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

The Czech billionaire, who also owns a stake in West Ham United Football Club, has made a series of undertakings in relation to the takeover, including not breaking IDS up for at least three years.

He has also pledged to pursue the same universal service obligation (USO) reforms through discussions with Ofcom, the industry regulator, that Royal Mail has argued are necessary to ensure the survival of its six-day-a-week delivery model.

Read more from Sky News:
McDonald’s loses Big Mac trademark case
Why Man City are suing the Premier League

Royal Mail was privatised in 2013 by the coalition government, with Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary, overseeing the company’s stock exchange flotation at the time.

The bid comes at a sensitive time for the government, with tighter rules governing ministerial activities during the election purdah period.

The Department for Business and Trade and EP Group both declined to comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl