Czech Billionaire Kretinsky Expands the Scope of Investment in Addition to Energy Sector

Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech billionaire who led one of the European largest energy groups via a decade of deals, is expanding his investments in several other units including scouring retail, media, and other areas since the investment in energy has recently come into tight competition.

Kretinsky’s Energy Sector

Kretinsky shaped a widespread energy business that has pervaded its operations across from Ireland to Italy right after he helped in launching Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding (EPH) in 2009 with Czech-Slovak financial group J&T and PPF owned by the Czech’s richest person, Petr Kellner.

According to the latest data of the EPH, “Kretinsky is the main shareholder in EPH, which generated 1.9 billion euros ($2.05 billion) in consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in 2018.”

Answering to a question, Kretinsky told Reuters that a tougher global competition for energy deals has encouraged him to look forward to new targets in the past couple of years, including a stake in German retailer Metro besides his key energy business. Kretinsky said in reply to Reuters’ questions, “Energy will remain a key pillar of our operations and we will indeed explore ways how to grow our presence there. However, we are less optimistic in our capability to do so.”

Kretinsky, whose net worth stands at $3.4 billion according to Forbes, said that his equity allocation in recent years was set on both renewables and gas power while his future investment would be more about development than acquisition, with some minor divestments possible.

Looking for New Deals

Responding to a question about the possibility of new business expansion, the Czech billionaire said, “For the diversification strategy I think the existing investments are signaling our way but give us a few weeks to make a more structured announcement.”

Kretinsky, the former investment bank lawyer, said the tight competition, fewer deals in a generation and increased risk due to volatile CO2 prices have hammered the growth in the energy sector. Asking about the involvement of outside investors, Kretinsky responded his energy group was planning to invite one more “in a very minor way” into its EP Infrastructure unit.

The billionaire, who said he had mild symptoms and undergone self-isolation after contracting the coronavirus, has talked about the existing threat of the virus spread and argued some statistics have overstated the threat of the virus. He added the preventive measures of the states’ government to fight the spread was considered to be the right decision.

Kretinsky said, referring to the impact of the virus outbreak on the economy, “If (people) fear and adjust their consumer and economical behavior, we will see robust negative impacts and deep structural changes. Unfortunately, the misinterpretation of the numbers and related panic are working heavily against us.”

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