A bid to buy Royal Mail’s parent company by the investor Daniel Křetínský – known as the ‘Czech Sphinx’ – has been rejected by the postal company’s board.

The European conglomerate EP Corporate Group, led by Křetínský, submitted its proposal last week, seeking to purchase all of the company’s outstanding shares not already owned by EP or its affiliate group Vesa Equity at 320p per share for International Distribution Services (IDS).

But IDS said it had turned down the offer.

“The board, together with its advisers, carefully considered the possible offer and concluded it significantly undervalues IDS and its future prospects,” it said in a statement to the markets.

“Accordingly, the board unanimously rejected the proposal on 11 April 2024.

“The board believes the timing of the proposal is opportunistic. It does not reflect the growth potential and prospects of the company under a new management team, a significant modernisation programme underway at Royal Mail, and the ongoing review by Ofcom in relation to the future of the universal service obligation.”

In response to press speculation about its bid, EP Corporate confirmed it had made an offer and said: “EP Group recognises that Royal Mail is in a challenging situation.

“Weak financial performance, poor service delivery and a slow transformation, in the face of a market going through structural change, have put the business under unsustainable pressure.

“With the increasing competition from multinational companies in the UK postal market, private investment in Royal Mail becomes crucial.”

Křetínský also owns a quarter of West Ham United.