May 29 (Reuters) - Royal Mail's parent company, International Distributions Services, agreed to be acquired by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky for 3.57 billion pounds ($4.55 billion).

Here is a brief history of the over 500-year-old company, which has recently struggled with worker strikes, lower volumes and increased regulatory scrutiny over missed delivery targets.

1516: King Henry VIII creates a country-wide postal network that operates only for the King and the Court for the next 119 years.

1635: King Charles I opens the service to the public.

1784: The service is christened Royal Mail as mail coaches become a familiar sight across the country.

1883: Parcel Post is launched, reflecting the need for personal and business customers to send more than just a letter.

1990: Royal Mail Parcels is re-branded as Parcelforce.

1999: Royal Mail acquires German Parcel, which is later re-branded as GLS (General Logistics Systems).

2010: Moya Greene becomes Royal Mail's first woman CEO.

2011: The Postal Services Act is passed, allowing private buyers to own up to 90% of Royal Mail and staff up to 10%.

2013: Royal Mail is taken public on Oct. 15, with a market capitalisation of 3.3 billion pounds.

2018: Rico Back, a GLS founding member, becomes CEO. His 1.8 billion-pound programme to turn Royal Mail profitable by 2024 is derailed by labour unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020: Rico Back steps down as CEO and Martin Seidenberg becomes CEO of GLS.

Postal workers are key in delivering millions of COVID-19 testing kits across Britain.

Royal Mail is embroiled in a two-year-long dispute with the CWU, its largest labour union, over working conditions and workplace culture.

2021: Simon Thompson becomes CEO of Royal Mail.

2022: Royal Mail is renamed International Distributions Services. It posts a 1 billion pound annual loss due to sliding revenue and worker strikes.

Vesa Equity, controlled by Kretinsky, increases its stake to over 25%, from 22%, with the British government's permission.

2023: Thompson steps down as CEO due to failed union talks. Seidenberg is named group CEO and workers accept a pay deal.

April 2024: Heathrow executive Emma Gilthorpe named new CEO of IDS' Royal Mail business.

April, May 2024: Kretinsky's first non-binding bid is rejected and he sweetens his bid, which IDS accepts. (Compiled by Eva Mathews and Yamini Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)