‘Czech sphinx’ buys Sainsbury’s stake after move for Royal Mail
CZECH billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has launched a fresh assault on one of the biggest household names in UK business – by taking a major stake in Sainsbury’s.
The serial investor, dubbed the “Czech sphinx”, has disclosed a 3pc stake worth roughly £130m in the supermarket, making him the firm’s fourth-largest shareholder.
The disclosure follows Mr Kretinsky’s stake building in
Royal Mail, which has led to him becoming the postal monopoly’s biggest investor.
Speculation has mounted this year that the Czech, best known for investing in the energy sector, may be looking to break up Royal Mail.
While its woes in the UK have been exacerbated by the Covid crisis, the FTSE 250 company’s overseas arm, GLS, continues to go from strength to strength.
Branislav Miskovic, a director at Mr Kretinsky’s fund Vesa Equity Investment, said: “The segment of food retail distribution has been one of the key areas of interest for Vesa Equity Investment. We view Sainsbury’s as an attractive investment opportunity.”
Shares in Sainsbury’s ended 3.3pc higher at 191.1p, but are still below their 232p level at the start of January.
The supermarket chain, which also owns Argos, is worth £4.25bn – less than a fifth of Tesco’s £21bn market cap. Sainsbury’s declined to comment.