August 5, 2019 / 4:50 PM / 18 days ago

Czech investor Kretinsky won't raise offer for Germany's Metro

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’s investment vehicle said on Monday it would not raise its 5.8 billion euro ($6.5 billion) bid for Metro (B4B.DE), after failing to convince two of the German retailer’s top shareholders of the deal.

EP Global Commerce (EPGC) said it could not find common ground with Metro shareholders Meridian Stiftung and Beisheim Holding, which hold nearly 21% of Metro’s ordinary shares, citing “different views on the valuation”.

This significantly lowers the chance for the bid, which runs until Aug. 7, to succeed. Shares in Metro closed down 2.5% at 15.115 euros.

“EPGC appreciates the tone and atmosphere of the discussions and regrets that they were not successful but continues to believe that the offer represents a unique opportunity for all shareholders to exit at an attractive price and in EPGC’s view includes a significant premium to the current fundamental value of Metro,” EPGC said.

EPGC, which is co-owned by Kretinsky and Slovak partner Patrick Tkac, said it would not raise the 16-euro-per-ordinary-share bid, nor lower the 67.5% acceptance threshold or amend the offer in any other way.

EPGC, which in an earlier filing said it would get just a 34.61% stake under the current offer, said it remained convinced that Metro would benefit from a simplified shareholder structure in its current transformation.

Meridian and Beisheim last week said they planned to join forces by pooling their interests and voting rights as they seek to help fend off the bid by EPGC, calling the offer “inappropriate”.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Evans

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