As Royal Mail Workers Strike, Czech Billionaire Shareholders Face National Security Investigation

Commerce Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told the Royal Mail that Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinski would face a national security investigation if he increased his stake in the company to more than 25%.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said inflation was well below inflation as 115,000 postal workers went on strike on Friday after Royal Mail proposed a 2% wage increase.

Royal Mail told the London Stock Exchange on Thursday that it had received a letter from Kwarteng. He said he “reasonably doubts” that his VESA Equity Investment, wholly owned by Kretinsky, is set to increase his stake in the privatized company. in 2013.

The National Security Investments Act, passed last year, aims to protect key pieces of the UK’s infrastructure from being owned by foreign governments or individuals.

Kwarteng has powers under the NSI law to investigate transactions “leading to acquisitions that may pose risks to national security.”

Earlier this year, several MPs called on the government to use the NSI Act to stop the sale of Britain’s largest semiconductor factory to a Chinese company.

Last month, Kwarteng used the NSI Act to block Beijing Infinite Vision Technology (BIVT) from buying vision sensing technology from the University of Manchester.

VESA, which owns 22% of Royal Mail, also has stakes in retailers Sainsbury’s, Foot Locker and Macy’s.

The stock exchange statement“Royal Mail has received notice from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that it reasonably doubts that an arrangement is in progress or under consideration. From less than 25% to more than 25% stake in Mail.”

“trigger event”

“The Secretary of State has informed Royal Mail that such action constitutes a triggering event under the NSI Act and is exercising his call authority under Section 1 of the NSI Act,” it said. Added.

Royal Mail has pledged to cooperate with the government.

According to the CWU, 97.6% of its members voted in favor of the strike. The strike he will last until August 31st and September 8th and 9th.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: They donated his over £400 million to shareholders, rewarded themselves with huge record bonuses for meeting financial targets, and imposed a postal worker a 2% raise on his salary. Against the backdrop of skyrocketing inflation and rising energy costs, that is totally unacceptable. ”

Kretinski, who is said to be the third richest person in the Czech Republic, last year bought a 27% stake in West Ham, an English Premier League football club.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.