Royal Mail agrees to £3.5billion sale to West Ham United FC owner | City & Business | Finance

Royal Mail owner International Distribution Services has agreed in principle to sell itself to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky for £3.5billion.

Kretinsky’s EP Group already owns over a quarter of the company and his 370p per share offer for IDS is worth 72.7% more than then it was worth prior to him tabling his first takeover offer in mid-April. The billionaire is currently best known in the UK for being part owner of Premier League football club West Ham.

The board of IDS said that it is minded to accept his offer, after Kretinsky agreed to conditions that will protect Royal Mail’s status as a key part of Britain’s infrastructure.

If the deal goes through, he has pledged to maintain a one-price-goes-everywhere service covering the entire country and continue with six-days a week deliveries for first class letters. Kretinsky has also agreed to keep Royal Mail’s headquarters and pay taxes in the UK, in addition to protect its workers current rights and recognise unions at the letter carrier and its sister company, parcels group GLS.

IDS chairman Keith Williams said that the company will hold further talks with Kretinsky about the exact terms and duration of the promises he has made with regards to Royal Mail and protecting its services and staff.

He added that he believes Kretinsky’s deal “should ensure that IDS continues to deliver the key elements of the Universal Service in the UK and protect the interests of the workforce at both Royal Mail and GLS”.

However, the Communications Workers Union hit out at IDS. “The future of postal services in the UK is again under threat,” general secretary Dave Ward said. “EP Group must immediately demonstrate an up-front and open commitment to working with the union to completely change the culture in workplaces across the UK, rule out any break-up of the company or raid of the pension surplus.”

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