Aug 25, 2022

UK to examine Czech billionaire’s Royal Mail stake under security act

The UK government has notified Royal Mail that it is using its national security powers to examine a stake held in the postal company by Vesa Equity, the investment vehicle of Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský. The postal company on Thursday said it had received notification from Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK business secretary, that he suspected "Arrangements are in progress . . . [that] will result in Vesa increasing its shareholding in Royal Mail . . . to more than 25 per cent". In its most recent filing on July 19, Vesa disclosed to the market that it increased its stake in Royal Mail by 1 percentage point to 22 per cent. Vesa said it had voluntarily notified authorities of its intention to raise its stake above 25 per cent, despite not knowing whether Royal Mail "Falls within the scope of the NSI regime's mandatory filing requirements". The UK government said this week it would not use its powers under the act to block or unwind French group Altice's stake in BT, the former British telecoms monopoly.

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