William Malcolm

Kretinsky Consolidates Power At Metro

Metro major shareholder Daniel Kretinsky has reached his goal with his takeover offer for the wholesale group: the Czech billionaire has acquired just over 40 percent of the ordinary shares after the end of his takeover offer.

He has thus clearly exceeded the decisive threshold of 30 percent – and can buy additional Metro shares in the future without a new offer.

Kretinsky’s investment company EPGC, which already controlled 29.99 percent of the common shares, also collected around 10.60 percent of Metro’s common shares and about 1.84 percent of the preferences, as EPGC announced on Friday.

Metro’s management board and the supervisory board had rejected the takeover offer as too low and recommended that shareholders not accept it. EPGC pays 8.48 euros per common share and 8.89 euros per preferred share.

Kretinsky and his investment partner Patrik Tkac wanted to increase their Metro share to over 30 percent with the offer. Now they can buy new Metro shares unhindered and further expand their power – with their share, and they will have a decisive influence at the upcoming Annual General Meeting in 2021. Important personnel decisions are to be made at Metro. Among other things, the mandate of supervisory board chairman Jürgen Steinemann expires with the general meeting. Metro is also looking for a new CEO because CEO Olaf Koch is turning his back on the Düsseldorf group at the end of the year.

Kretinsky and Tkac do not have a completely free hand with the Düsseldorf trading giant. Because the major shareholders Beisheim and Meridian had already announced, they wanted to keep their share package of a good 23 percent. An earlier takeover offer by Kretinsky had failed because of their resistance. They did not want to comment on whether there were talks with Kretinsky.