FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak partner Patrik Tkac will raise their stake in German wholesaler Metro AG <B4B.DE> following a failed takeover bid earlier this year, their joint investment vehicle said on Thursday.
EP Global Commerce (EPGC) said it had exercised a call option to buy shares from German family-owned investment group Haniel [FHANI.UL] and raise its stake to 29.99% from 17.52%, just below the threshold that would trigger a full takeover bid.
The closing of the deal is expected on Nov. 6, EPGC said, adding it underlined its “commitment of EPGC to Metro AG as a responsible strategic investor”. The move will make EPGC Metro’s largest shareholder.
EPGC said it would seek appropriate representation on Metro’s supervisory board, adding it retains a call option to acquire further shares from Haniel. No financial details were disclosed.
EPGC in August failed with a 5.8 billion euros ($6.5 billion) bid for Metro after failing to find common ground over valuation with shareholders Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding, which hold a nearly 21% stake in Metro.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)