Royal Mail could face a national security investigation over concerns Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský is planning to increase his stake in the delivery firm.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Royal Mail that he “reasonably suspects” that Křetínský’s company Vesa Equity Investment might increase its holding from 22pc to more than a quarter.
Křetínský, dubbed the “Czech sphinx”, is part-owner of West Ham United football club, and also has stakes in Sainsbury’s, Foot Locker, Macy’s and French newspaper Le Monde.
Currently his stake in Royal Mail is worth around £150m, if he raises it to more than 25% it would trigger an investigation under the National Security and Investment Act.
The Business Secretary has the power to investigate deals that “will result in an acquisition that may give rise to a risk to national security”.
Royal Mail said it “will fully cooperate with this review and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate”.
This news came ahead of a walk out by over 115,000 postal workers on Friday 26 August over pay. Royal Mail workers will strike again on Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 08 September and Friday 09 September.