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DEVELOPING: Britain’s 500-year-old Royal Mail sold to foreign businessman

Royal Mail sold to foreign businessman
Royal Mail sold to foreign businessman

International Distribution Services (IDS), the owner of Royal Mail, has confirmed the sale of the postal operator to EP UK Bidco Ltd, a company owned by Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský. The sale is set at $4.5 billion. 

Bidco is a new company indirectly owned by Křetínský’s EP Corporate Group and J&T Capital Partners.

In announcing the sale, Křetínský says: “IDS, and Royal Mail in particular, form part of the national infrastructure of the countries they operate in. More than that, Royal Mail is part of the fabric of UK society and has been for hundreds of years.” 

Křetínský adds that the EP group has the utmost respect for Royal Mail’s history and tradition. 

Keith Williams, the chair of IDS, says: “IDS has the potential to become a leading international logistics player. Both the IDS Board and EP are acutely aware of their responsibilities to IDS and particularly to the unique heritage of Royal Mail and its obligations as the designated Universal Service Provider of postal services in the UK.” 

Royal Mail’s rocky waters 

The acquisition announcement comes just days after the UK’s regulatory body for postal industries, Ofcom, proposed an investigation into Royal Mail’s performance. The Royal Mail failed to meet delivery targets, which dropped by nearly 20% compared to last year.

The postal company was previously also slapped with a fine to the tune of $6 million for failing to meet first and second-class delivery targets in the 2022/23 financial year.

Who is Daniel Křetínský? 

Daniel Křetínský the founder of EP Global Commerce and owns 53% of the company. It is headquartered in Prague.

The businessman is also chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of EPH, a leading central European energy group. Here he is responsible for strategy, key HR issues, and major negotiations, including top mergers and acquisitions.

He is also chairman of the Board of Czech Media Invest, which focuses on media assets in Central and Western Europe. Additionally, he is a significant shareholder and Chairman of the football club AC Sparta Prague and holds a stake in West Ham United F.C.

Before 2009, Křetínský worked for the Czechoslovak investment group J&T, joining in 1999 as a lawyer and later taking over asset management projects. By 2003, he became a partner responsible for the corporate finance department in the Czech Republic and the energy sector.

Image source: Canva

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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