A Czech billionaire and professional soccer team owner has purchased a 5-percent stake in Macy’s with apparent plans to reshape the struggling company, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.
Daniel Kretinsky of Vesa Equity Investment made a “strategic investment” in the US’s largest department store company with plans to “engage in constructive discussions with management and the board of directors,” according to the filing.
A spokeswoman for Kretinsky, 44, declined to reveal his plans, saying any statement “could affect the price.” Macy’s shares, which closed down Monday 1.8 percent to $5.27 a share, are down 20 percent this year.
Kretinsky heads up one of the largest energy companies in Europe, called Energeticky a prumyslovy holding, and he has stakes in the French newspaper Le Monde and Metro AG, a large German food service company.
He is also an owner of the Sparta Prague soccer team and worth an estimated $3.4 billion, according to Forbes.
Having recently recovered from the coronavirus, he views the fallout from COVID-19 as an opportunity to invest.
“We are already investing,” he told Crain’s New York Business in April. “as we simply believe that the current market is undervaluing certain very interesting and important companies.”
Dubbed the “Czech sphinx” for his inscrutability, Kretinsky rose to prominence by acquiring European power plants and other companies making him one of Europe’s largest dealmakers, according to reports.
The mogul may buy more shares in Macy’s, according to the filing, or he may sell what he now owns, depending on market conditions.
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