British life-style: The Postman always rings twice or Royal Mail for sale!

9:23 01.06.2024 •

Royal Mail announces it has been bought for £3.57 billion by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky's EP Group, The Daily Mail informs.

The board of Royal Mail owner International Distribution Services said it has agreed to a £3.57 billion takeover offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky's EP Group.

Businessman Mr Kretinsky already owned more than a quarter of IDS, which controls Royal Mail, Parcelforce and international mailing service GLS.

Known as the 'Czech Sphinx' for his inscrutable nature, his purchase of IDS – which may yet be subject to government scrutiny – could take the UK's 500-year-old postal service into fully foreign ownership for the first time.

The deal comes amid a time of extreme pressure for Britain's centuries-old postal service, which was privatised a decade ago.

Kretinsky has vowed to protect employee rights if his investment firm is successful in buying out Royal Mail's parent company

There is no guarantee that these promises, along with pledges to recognise unions and continue delivering first-class post six days a week, will remain in place after five years have elapsed,

However, he also warned of the need for 'modernisation' to keep up with the 'competition'.

Royal Mail already has plans to cut second-class post deliveries and 1,000 jobs as it struggles to make ends meet while batting off competition from other couriers and postal firms like DPD, Yodel, Evri and Whistl.

The postal service says a peak of 20 billion letters sent in 2004/05 fell to seven billion last year and is expected to fall further despite the fact the number of addresses in Britain has grown by four million in the same period.

As a result, postal workers are delivering fewer letters to more addresses - an unsustainable model in its current form, the Royal Mail says.

While IDS is minded to agree the takeover, it is not a done deal. Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has the power under the National Security and Investment Act to call in the deal – and potentially block it.

Mr Kretinsky is already a formidable force in British business. He owns stakes in West Ham FC, supermarket Sainsbury's and energy giant EPH, which has power plants across England.

The deal comes after years of growing public dissatisfaction with Royal Mail in the decade since it was fully privatised, compounded by staff walkouts.

Less than half of the British public have a positive impression of the UK's primary postal delivery service, according to YouGov.


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