EP Global Commerce Group (EPGC) of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak investor Patrik Tkac increased their share in German retailer Metro AG to 29.99% by acquiring 7.3% of Haniel ́s shares, becoming Metro ́s largest shareholder, according to its press release from November 3.
“We are very excited to become a strategic shareholder of Metro AG. Metro is a strong brand and established player that operates in a very dynamic market environment. We believe in the company’s potential and we now focus on whether we can have a positive impact on the company and are able to support its future development in the right way,” said Daniel Kretinsky.
The transaction is expected to take place on November 6. EPGC exercised a call option that gives the owner the right to acquire 44,950,974 of common shares of Metro AG from Haniel. The price of the transaction has not been revealed.
According to EPGC press release, its sister company EP Global Commerce just signed an agreement with Ceconomy AG to purchase 3.6% Metro ordinary shares as well as an option scheme. The option scheme allows the company to acquire additional 5.4% of Metro ordinary shares.
“In total, Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac currently hold circa 10.9% and have options to acquire in aggregate less than 30% or up to 31.5% in Metro shares,” the company noted.
Earlier in June, the two investors made a voluntary public takeover offer for CZK150bn (€5.9bn). However, the Metro’s board turned it down and recommended to its shareholders not to accept the unsolicited takeover offer.
“Although EPGC was exploring several alternatives with the two shareholders, it became clear during the discussions that EPGC and the two shareholders have different views on the valuation of Metro and therefore unfortunately the parties did not find a common ground for an agreement under which the two shareholders would support the offer,” the statement said.
EPGC was founded in April 2016 and is headquartered in Prague. Two subsidiaries, EP Global Commerce GmbH and EP Global Commerce II GmbH, were founded for the acquisition of the Metro shares formerly owned by Haniel and Ceconomy AG.
The Metro Group owns over 770 Cash & Carry wholesalers in 26 countries, employing over 150,000 people. The group has been represented in the Czech Republic since 1997. Its division, Makro Cash & Carry CR, operates 13 wholesale centres in the Czech Republic.