Billionaire Kretinsky launches new bid on Metro

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Now that top executive Olaf Koch has announced his departure, Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky is making a fresh attempt to get his hands on the German foodservice company Metro.


Criticism of policy

Through his investment fund EP Global Commerce, Kretinsky, who already owns 29.99% of Metro's shares, makes a new offer to the other shareholders: he wants to pay 8.48 euros for an ordinary share and 8.87 euros for a preferential share, he announced in a communiqué on Sunday. In doing so, he is valuing the foodservice group at just over 3 billion euros. "The offer substantially undervalues the company," says Metro, advising shareholders not to take any action. On Monday, Metro's share price immediately went up.


Kretinsky's bid follows shortly after CEO Olaf Koch unexpectedly announced that he will leave the company earlier than expected: although his contract in principle runs until March 2022, he will resign at the end of this year. Koch thoroughly reformed Metro: the group split off its electronics division (including MediaMarkt), gave up the Chinese market and sold supermarket chain Real to fully concentrate on its wholesale activities. But Kretinsky never spared his criticisms of the management and demanded, among other things, that the wholesaler sell his real estate. 


The Czech investor had already attempted to take control of Metro before, but two historic shareholders, Beisheim and Meridian, were obstructive at the time. Together they hold just over 23% of the shares. Moreover, in March of this year it became known that Metro is holding talks with the American food service multinational Sysco.