Czech billionaire Kretinsky becomes Fnac Darty's largest shareholder

The logo of the retail chain Fnac in Paris
The logo of the retail chain Fnac is pictured at the entrance of a store in Paris, France, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS, March 22 (Reuters) - Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky has further increased his stake in French retailer Fnac Darty (FNAC.PA) and is now its largest shareholder with a 25.03% stake, the AMF stock market watchdog said on Wednesday.

Vesa Equity Investment, Kretinsky's investment vehicle, bought the shares on the market. It previously owned 20.03% of Fnac Darty, according to Eikon data.

BFM Business reported last month that Kretinsky would be ready to buy the 24% stake in Fnac Darty held by then top shareholder Ceconomy (CECG.DE), the German electronics retailer.

Kretinsky, who built one of Europe's largest energy groups through more than a decade of deals, has been diversifying and targeting retail, media and other areas for investments.

In France, he has built a 10% stake in French supermarket group Casino (CASP.PA).

Kretinsky also bought around 5.1% of France's leading TV company TF1 (TFFP.PA), has a minority share in French newspaper Le Monde and owns via his Czech Media Investment holding company several French titles such as Elle and news magazine Marianne.

He is also currently in exclusive talks to buy publisher Editis from Vivendi (VIV.PA).

At around 11h00 GMT, Fnac Darty shares were up 0.7%, outperforming the French stock market as a whole, up 0.3%.

Reporting by Matthieu Protard and Dominique Vidalon; Edited by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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