Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac

Matt Atlas

Vesa Equity Ups Stake In PostNL

The Vesa Equity Investment Fund, owned by entrepreneurs Daniel Křetínský and Patrik Tkáč, has increased its stake in the Dutch postal company and become its largest shareholder. The information was published by the Dutch market regulator.

Vesa already owns 10.1 percent of shares in PostNL. A previous announcement from an investment fund registered in Luxembourg on the website of the stock exchange supervisory authority called De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) in March stated that Vesa held 5.03 percent of shares in PostNL. Investors must notify each time they exceed a certain percentage – for example, three, five, ten, or more percent.

According to data on the financial website tikr.com, Vesa is now the largest shareholder in the Dutch Post. Currently, the value of its share is approximately 226 million euros, ie 5.7 billion crowns.

Other major shareholders of PostNL, whose shares are traded on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, include Dutch magnate John de Mol, investment funds managed by the American investment company BlackRock, the Swiss UBS Asset Management, and the American investment company Acadian Asset Management.

“The investment in PostNL confirms Vesa’s strategic intent in the logistics sector,” commented Branislav Miškovič, Vesa Equity Investment’s investment director in March, saying the last mile logistics, especially in parcel delivery, were growing business. The last mile is the term used in logistics for the final leg of the journey to the customer, which is the most expensive in terms of cost.

In addition to PostNL, the Vesa fund also owns a 15% stake in the British postal company Royal Mail. He is also the largest shareholder in it.

The Dutch PostNL post office was privatized in the late 1980s and is a company without a state share. This was followed by the privatization of postal companies in other European countries, such as Germany, Belgium, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

PostNL is a profitable company and pays dividends. In 2020, it achieved a profit after tax of 213 million euros, ie 5.4 billion crowns. In the first half of this year alone, net profit reached 169 million euros. 

At present, PostNL is the dominant player in the Dutch market and has a strong position in other Benelux countries. “It can be considered a case of the successful transformation of a traditional postal company into a modern and efficient provider of delivery and logistics services,” said Miškovič.

Shares of PostNL are trading at around € 4.40 apiece earlier this week. Since the beginning of the year, the exchange rate has risen by almost 60 percent. At the end of February, when Křetínský and Tkáč announced their investments for the first time, the price was around 3.50 euros per share.

In addition to shares of PostNL and the British Royal Mail, the Vesa fund owns, for example, a 12 percent stake in the American footwear chain Foot Locker and less than ten percent of the shares in the British retail chain Sainsbury’s.