William Malcolm

EPGC Raises Stake In Metro To 37%

Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Global Commerce (EPGC) will increase its stake in Metro to more than 37 percent from its current 29.99 percent. EPGC tried to take over Metro last year and this year, and even before today’s announcement, it was the company’s largest shareholder.

EPGC accepted an offer to repurchase 7.1 percent of common stock and 1.1 percent of preferred stock. According to the company spokesperson, it has achieved its goal, which is to create more flexibility for further progress. After exceeding the 30% threshold, the EPGC may gradually increase its shareholding without being obliged to make a takeover bid.

Kretinksy and Tkac’s company offered shareholders EUR 8.48 per ordinary share and EUR 8.89 per preferred share. Holders of ordinary shares have the right to vote at the general meeting; they do not have voting rights attached to the preference shares, but they usually receive a higher dividend. Shareholders who are still hesitant can sell their EPGC shares until November 17.

Křetínský and Tkáč joined the German company Metro in the summer of 2018. However, the effort to take over the company has not yet worked for them – the company described their last offer in mid-October as insufficient and rejected it.

Metro has been selling some of its divisions in recent years to focus on its wholesale activities. The company has over 770 Cash & Carry wholesalers in 26 countries, which employ over 150,000 people. The group has been represented in the Czech Republic since 1997. Its Makro Cash & Carry ČR division operates 13 wholesale centers in the Czech Republic.