Royal Mail floats £3.5billion takeover offer by Czech billionaire

Royal Mail floats £3.5billion takeover offer by Czech billionaire

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 15/05/2024

- 15:07

Updated: 15/05/2024

- 15:27

Royal Mail is exploring a revised cash offer, its parent company has confirmed

Royal Mail has revealed it is considering accepting a £3.5billion takeover proposal from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

International Distribution Services (IDS) today confirmed it has received a revised potential cash offer from the businessman’s EP Group of 370p per share.

This updated proposal is an increase of nearly 16 per cent on the group’s previous bid which was rebuffed.

EP Group previously put forward an offer of 320p per share and valued Royal Mail to be worth £3.5billion.

The postal service company’s board noted it would be inclined to recommend the offer to its shareholders.

As such, EP Group has until 5pm on May 29, 2024 to table a firm proposal or walk away from the table.D

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Royal Mail and Daniel Kretinsky

Royal Mail floats £3.5billion takeover offer by Czech billionaire


Both parties are set to continue engaging in discussions over the proposal and begin to carry out due diligence.

IDS said Mr Kretinsky, whose group currently owns a 27.5 per cent stake in the firm, has agreed to offer a set of “contractual undertakings”.

These include protecting key public interest factors, recognising Royal Mail’s status as a major part of the UK’s national infrastructure.

The proposal will therefore include commitments to Royal Mail’s plans to maintain six-day-a-week first class letter deliveries under universal service.

Under any takeover, workers rights will have to be protected, and there must be a promise to keep Royal Mail’s brand and headquarters.

Dave Ward, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary, warned that the postal services in the UK are “under threat” with the bid to purchase the owner of Royal Mail.

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.

“The CWU are calling for a completely new ownership model – one based on innovation, growth and maintaining over 500 years of public service ethos.

“Whatever the result of these takeover talks, this is a position we will actively campaign for with the owners of Royal Mail, the Government and Labour.”

The union leader asserted that it was not fair for a “key part” of the UK’s infrastructure to be in the hands of those with “no vision for the future”.


Royal Mail logo in pictures

Kretinsky's group has until the end of the month to put forward a deal


He said he didn’t see a plan to make sure Royal Mail’s workforce will be “at the heart” of turning the business around.

Royal Mail's service "cannot be compromised" if a deal goes ahead, the UK’s Greeting Card Association (GCA) claimed.

GCA chief executive Amanda Fergusson said: “Our 500-plus members – largely small businesses – and the consumers they serve rely on a Royal Mail that’s national, reliable and affordable."

GB News has contacted Royal Mail and EP Group for comment.

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