IDS (RMG) TAKEOVER BID

As expected, the formal takeover offer from EP Group for IDS (RMG) has been published today.

The offer document contains more detailed information and the CWU has engaged expert acquisition lawyers to assist us in looking at all aspects of the offer, particularly how the bid is being financed.

The union has also written to all individual members (letter in print) with a comprehensive update on the takeover bid, providing members with relevant information on the process and explaining how we are dealing with the overall situation and its impact on our members and the future of the company.

Following a number of enquiries, we would ask you to convey to our members that the union is not in a position to recommend on a financial basis, one way or the other, how CWU shareholder members should vote on the offer.  This is a matter for each individual shareholder.

However, the letter to members will set out very clearly, in line with our conference policy, the overall position of the CWU with regard to the takeover bid.

To summarise, we do not believe it’s right for an overseas equity investor to own RMG in its entirety, we are also equally clear that we cannot support the current Board, whose actions have seriously damaged Royal Mail and the workforce.  Moreover, we do not believe the current Board have any meaningful strategy to get the workforce back onboard and grow the business.  This is why CWU is calling for a new model of ownership, a separate agreement on stronger protections and guarantees for the workforce and a complete overhaul of Royal Mail’s governance and managerial structure – to give the workforce and customers a greater say over the future direction of the company.

The letter to members also explains that renationalisation is our ultimate goal, whilst being honest and upfront that it is highly unlikely in the current political and economic environment.  Furthermore, that it is our duty to engage with the bidders and deal with the circumstances we are facing here and now.

Further discussions will take place with EP Group and they have agreed that we will meet Daniel Kretinsky after the General Election.

We will also continue to discuss this matter with the Labour Party – who hopefully will form the next government – on the implementation of the commitments they have made in the Manifesto.  This is also set out in our letter to members.

Finally, given there are still significant hurdles for EP Group to overcome, irrespective of the shareholder vote, we are confident there will be opportunities to influence the outcome of this bid in a way that protects and strengthens the interests of our members.

An advance copy of the letter, which should land on Monday, will be sent to Branches at the end of the week.