Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and his Slovak partner Patrik Tkac have bought a 5% stake in one of the oldest US department stores Macy’s, through through their investment fund Vesa Equity Investment, becoming the fourth-largest shareholder in the retail chain, daily E15 reported on May 11.
According to the fund, depending on the development on the market, particularly a further share price decrease, driven mainly by the uncertainty around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which forced the retail chain to close its stores, the investors might consider acquiring additional stakes. Macy’s shares have been reported to decrease by almost 70% this year.
According to the daily, this is another significant acquisition by the Vesa fund in a relatively short time. A week ago, the fund announced that it holds over 5% of the shares of the British postal service Royal Mail which it bought, as with the Macy’s shares, on the open market.
Kretinsky’s portfolio includes energy and media assets and the Sparta Prague soccer team.
He invested in France’s Casino Guichard-Perrachon. Through his holding company Czech Media Investment (CMI), he acquired several magazine titles of the Lagardere media group, including Elle, Version Femina, Art & Decoration, Tele 7 Jours, France Dimanche, Ici Paris and Public, for €52mn.
CMI focuses on acquisitions and management of media assets in Central and Western Europe. In October 2018, the company bought 49% of shares in Le Nouveau Monde holding.
In November 2019, through their EP Global Commerce Group, Kretinsky and Tkac became the largest shareholder in German retailer Metro, increasing their share to 29.99%.
Kretinsky built his fortune as the energy magnate through its main asset Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH), the biggest energy group in Central Europe. In recent years, the giant bought coal-based assets in Germany and Italy, as well as the UK, while continuing to increase its presence in Central European energy markets via acquisitions in Slovakia, Hungary and other states in the neighbourhood. It comprises over 70 companies structured in two pillars, EP Infrastructure and EP Power Europe.