Czech-billionaire Daniel Kretinsky who owns big stakes in Royal Mail PLC (LSE:RMG) and J Sainsbury PLC (LSE:SBRY) is within days of agreeing on the purchase of a large stake in West Ham United Football Club, according to Sky News.
Kretinsky, who owns the Czech side Sparta Prague, is in advanced talks to acquire a 27% stake in West Ham that could eventually lead to a full takeover after an unspecified period.
According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated to be around GBP3bn but that is a vast under-estimate based on information in the public domain.
Kretinsky, who owns assets in the energy, media, industrial and retail sectors, has become a significant player in corporate Britain and ranks as the largest shareholder in Royal Mail and the second-largest in Britain’s second-largest supermarket Sainsbury’s.
His 19% stake in Royal Mail is valued at almost GBP800mln while a 9.99% stake in Sainsbury’s is valued at GBP700mln.
The 46-year-old, who is known as the “Czech Sphinx” because of his inscrutable investment style, runs and owns a 94% stake in Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH), the biggest energy group in Central Europe.
Research suggests his shareholding of this company alone could be worth more than GBP4bn.
Kretinsky also has a 49% stake in the French newspaper Le Monde, as well as stakes in Foot Locker and Macy’s.
The transaction regarding West Ham United could be announced as soon as the first weekend of November, Sky News reported.
It comes as minority stakes in other clubs Premier League clubs have also changed hands in recent weeks, as clubs seek to fortify their balance sheets following the pandemic.
The Czech’s initial stake purchase will value the club in the region of GBP600mln to GBP700mln, more than double the amount a Saudi-led consortium recently paid for Newcastle United.