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UK to look at security implications of Křetínský Royal Mail bid

UK to look at security implications of Křetínský Royal Mail bid

UK to look at security implications of Křetínský Royal Mail bid
May 17, 2024 1 min, 2 secs

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has said the UK will look at the national security implications of a bid for Royal Mail by the Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský, but indicated ministers were not opposed to the takeover in principle.

On Friday, Hunt indicated that the government would use its powers to scrutinise takeovers if they have national security implications, in a speech in London in which he also dangled the prospect of further tax cuts in the autumn.

Křetínský made his fortune through buying up coal-fired power stations in eastern Europe, but he has since turned his attention to the UK, including taking separate stakes in Sainsbury’s supermarket and West Ham football club.

Since then the government has blocked some transactions under the laws, including the attempted takeover of the Newport Wafer Fab semiconductor factory in south Wales and the purchase of the electronic design company Pulsic by a Hong Kong rival.

The government last week cleared the merger of Vodafone and Three’s UK mobile networks on security grounds, although a competition inquiry is still running.

The business secretary, Kemi Badenoch, has also reportedly told Royal Mail that the sale will not be allowed unless it offers guarantees that some services are maintained.

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