Final Word from Thursday, June 10, 2021

Petr Kellner entered the major league of finance by taking advantage of a qualified KPMG audit of Česká pojišťovna for 1995 that was seen very negatively by shareholders and business partners. That was an innovative method then, and other brutal takeovers followed. A preferred method today is the asset swap. We wrote here three years ago about how Daniel Křetínský pocketed a cool billion in the exchange of a stake in Pražské služby for full control of Pražská teplárenská. The swap ratio is now the main criticism of PPF's planned takeover of Moneta. Minority shareholders don't like the spread. Kellner's hardballing might have worked if the covid recovery hadn't come so soon. When PPF made its buyout offer on Jan. 22, it was offering a premium of 17.6%. Not bad, but even without a takeover offer, Komerční banka's price has risen since then by 17.6%, and Erste's by 24.4%. Kellner's effort to "bribe" institutional investors with a big premium was a day late and a dollar short. [ Czech Republic Money Bank bribery Home Credit Air Bank share stock ]

Glossary of difficult words

qualified audit - a strong signal to investors that a company's financial accounting methods need to be improved and are not necessarily wholly reliable;

swap - exchange;

to pocket - to take or receive (money or other valuables) for oneself, esp. dishonestly;

spread - the difference between two rates or prices;

to hardball/to play hardball - to engage in tough or ruthless behavior, esp. in business or politics;

a day late and a dollar short - too little, too late; too late to be of benefit.


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