Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský and Slovak investor Patrik Tkáč have raised their takeover bid for the German retail chain Metro.
EP Global Commerce (EPGC) is now offering EUR 8.48 per ordinary share to shareholders who hold voting rights. For a preferred share that is not associated with voting rights, but usually a higher dividend, its owner will receive EUR 8.89.
EPGC currently holds 29.9 percent of the shares in Metro, making it the company’s largest shareholder. She is the owner of Makro wholesalers in the Czech Republic. Křetínského’s company hopes that thanks to the published offer, it will reach over 30 percent. Daniel Křetínský is also a co-owner of the Czech News Center publishing house, which also operates the economic website E15.cz.
When the EPGC announced its intention last month, Metro shares strengthened significantly. The board of directors of the chain stated that the offer substantially underestimates the company.
The EPGC has previously announced and now confirmed that even after the latest offer, it does not expect to acquire more than 50 percent of the voting shares in the Metro. She said she only wanted more flexibility and, at the same time, did not want to be obliged to submit a full takeover bid.
Metro has been selling some of its divisions in recent years to focus on crucial wholesale activities. The company has over 770 Cash & Carry wholesalers in 26 countries, which employ over 150,000 people. The group has operated in the Czech Republic since 1997. Its Makro Cash & Carry ČR division operates 13 wholesale centers in the Czech Republic.
Křetínský and Tkáč joined the German company Metro in the summer of 2018. In the summer of last year, they tried to take over the company, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
DSW finds current takeover offer lacking
The shareholders’ association DSW considers the takeover offer by the Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky to be unattractive for the METRO’s wholesale group.
“From our point of view, there is hardly anything in favor of accepting the offer,” explained Jella Benner-Heinacher, the deputy chief executive of the German Association for the Protection of Securities (DSW).
There is no adequate bonus for taking control of METRO AG with 8.48 euros for the ordinary and 8.89 euros for the preferred share. Only for shareholders for whom the METRO papers are on the short-term sales list, an acceptance could make sense.
EPGC’s takeover offer runs through 29 October. It is Kretinsky’s second takeover attempt. A first with a significantly higher price failed due to the minimum acceptance threshold last year. There are none this time.
EP Global Commerce already holds a 29.99 percent stake in the company. The two other major METRO shareholders Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding, do not want to accept the EPGC offer.