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German company’s acquisition strengthens its grip on European postal market and will put further pressure on Royal Mail in UK

The family that turned a Harrow taxi firm into a postal company competing with the Royal Mail are in line for a £120m windfall after an agreed bid from Deutsche Post.

UK Mail was founded by chairman Peter Kane in 1971 but he himself will get no direct benefit from the £243mtakeover offer, since he recently passed on his remaining stake to his family. Kane is notoriously publicity-shy but uses his wealth to invest in West End Musicals, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s which starred Pixie Lott.

The biggest winner from the takeover will be Kane’s son John, who will receive £60m. His brother Michael, who used to be involved in the business, is set for £23m, his ex-wife Ghislaine £14m and his daughter Joanna Bailey and her husband £13m. With other family members including a young son, the Kanes own just over 50% of the business between them.

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It comes after a difficult period for UK Mail, in which problems at its automated sorting facility led to two profit warnings last year and the departure of the then chief executive, Guy Buswell.

Peter Kane said the offer from Deutsche Post, which is listed publicly and also owns logistics company DHL, gave shareholders the opportunity to cash in at a significant premium to the levels at which the share price had traded in recent months.

 

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/28/deutsche-post-agrees-to-buy-uk-mail