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Royal Mail agrees £3.57bn takeover by Czech billionaire

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International Distribution Services, the owner of Royal Mail, has accepted a £3.6bn takeover bid by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Krentinsky and his company EP Group already owns 27.6% of Royal Mail, and also owns parts of Sainsbury’s and West Ham Football Club. The group made a formal offer earlier this month – which IDS has now accepted.

IDS stressed the agreement included a series of “contractual commitments” to protect public service aspects of the Royal Mail – such as its universal service obligation and its “one-price-goes-anywhere” first class post six days a week.

Additionally, the Royal Mail branding and UK headquarters would remain in place, with “no intention to make any material changes to overall headcount or reductions in the number of front-line workers”.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (which has represented Royal Mail worked during retail industrial action), said: “We do welcome some of the commitments that have been made but the reality is postal workers across the UK have lost all faith in the senior management of Royal Mail and the service has been deliberately run down.

“We will meet with EP Group next week and call for a complete reset in employee and industrial relations, the restoration of postal services and further commitments on the future of the company.”

The deal will need to be approved by IDS shareholders at the annual general meeting on 25 September and will be scrutinised by regulators and the government.

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