Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky announced he now owns over forty per cent of the voting rights of Metro. It will allow him to exert even more influence on the direction of the German group.
Grasp on group strengthened
In mid-September, Kretinsky made a new attempt to gain full control over Metro through his investment fund EP Global Commerce. The investor offered 8.48 euros for an ordinary share (with voting rights) and 8.87 euro for a preference share (without voting rights). Metro’s management found the bid to be an undervaluation of the company and advised the shareholders to decline it.
However, the offer was open until 17 November, and some shareholders accepted: through this bid, he acquired 10.60 per cent of the ordinary shares and 1.84 per cent of the preference shares, writes Zonebourse. This means that Kretinsky, who already held 29.99 per cent of the ordinary shares, increased his voting interest to 40.6 per cent. Additionally, he now owns 10.8 per cent of the preference shares, which entitles him to a higher dividend.
Kretinsky has strengthened his grip on Metro considerably. He will now have even more influence on the company’s decisions, particularly at shareholders’ meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for February next year. The Czech billionaire already attempted to take over Metro in June 2019, but failed, mainly because two significant shareholders, Beisheim and Meridian, strongly opposed the takeover.
Today, Metro has appointed financial director Christian Baier and operations director Rafael Gasset as interim co-CEOs as of 1 January. They will replace the current CEO Olaf Koch, who will leave the company at the end of the year. The search for a new CEO is currenly in full swing.