William Malcolm

Kretinsky Forms Holding Company

Billionaire Daniel Křetínský will concentrate his strategic assets, including the Energy and Industrial Holding (EPH), in the new holding company EP Corporate Group (EPCG). EP Equity Investment (EPEI) is also emerging, under which investments in minority stakes in companies with stock exchanges will be gradually concentrated. At the same time, Křetínský is in advanced negotiations with Patrik Tkáč about his return to EPH, and he would gain 44 percent in the company.

“The creation of the EP Corporate Group and EP Equity Investment is a logical step that reflects the fact that an increasingly important part of our activities is outside the energy sector,” said Křetínský. According to him, the concentration of minority shares under EP Equity Investment will allow them to be managed flexibly, even though they are primarily intended as long-term investments.

The possible return of Tkáč to EPH was initiated by Křetínský, which, according to Křetínský, will open up space for further acquisition growth of the group. If the negotiations are completed, EPCG will retain a 56 percent stake in EPH and full managerial control, and Křetínský’s liabilities from the original acquisition of Tkáč’s stake in EPH will expire. According to Křetínský, the shares in all joint investments with Tkáč will be gradually balanced to the same level of 56 to 44 percent, except for the media group Czech Media Invest (CMI).

EPCG Transactions will also acquire a 56 percent stake in Sparta Prague. The remaining 44 percent will remain owned by the J&T Group’s shareholder structures. EP Industries, where Křetínský operates as a financial investor and does not exercise managerial control, is not affected by the changes and will remain outside the EPCG and EPEI structures.

The new EP Corporate Group based in the Czech Republic will gradually take over the direct and indirect shares of Křetínský and EPH managers in energy EPH, EP Global Commerce (EPGC), media CMI, EC Investments (ECI) in the field of e-commerce and real estate EP Real Estate (EPRE). EPGC holds a minority stake in the German trading company Metro.
The current participation of EPH managers in the group will be transformed into a 10.7 percent share in EPCG. The majority of 89.3 percent associated with the company’s control will continue to be owned by Křetínský. The composition of the EPCG Board will remain the same as for EPH. All components of the EPCG will continue to be funded separately and independently.

EP Equity Investment will gradually fully acquire Vesa Equity Investments, indirectly minority stakes in Royal Mail, Foot Locker, Casino Guichard-Perrachon, and Sainsbury’s. It was also agreed with the other shareholders of CMI that EPEI would again repurchase the shares of the German ProSiebenSat.1, which is now held by CMI. Křetínský will control the EPEI company. The co-owners will be Tkáč and EPH managers.