October 31, 2019 / 6:01 PM / in 4 months

Czech investor Kretinsky, partner raise stake in Metro to 29.99%

FILE PHOTO: German retailer Metro AG sign is seen on the steps of their headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany March 02, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

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 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

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