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Royal Mail owner accepts $4.6 bn international takeover bid

STORY: The owners of Britain's centuries-old Royal Mail said Wednesday (May 29) that it had agreed to a 4.6 billion dollar (£3.57bn) takeover by the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

The formal offer valued International Distributions Services, the owner of Royal Mail and the international parcels network GLS, at 370 pence per share.

Royal Mail was privatized in 2013 in one of Britain's biggest state sell-offs in decades. Kretinsky already holds around a quarter of the shares.

IDS said it had negotiated a package that includes the retention of the 'one-price-goes-anywhere' postal service six days a week, employee benefits and pensions, and of the Royal Mail's UK headquarters and tax status.

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Royal Mail has been trying to transform itself into a parcel-led business as letter volumes have shrunk over the years.

Kretinsky says private investment is crucial, given the company's poor service delivery, slow transformation and increasing competition.

The UK government has said any takeover bid would be subject to "normal" national security scrutiny but would not be opposed in principle. The opposition Labour Party welcomed the assurances from Kretinsky's EP Group.