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European Business News
Fosun Sweetens Club Med Bid
From the Wall Street Journal of Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:31:00 EST
Club Med has been the object of a series of bids and counterbids over the past 18 months.
Club Med has been the object of a series of bids and counterbids over the past 18 months. Reuters

PARIS—China’s Fosun International Ltd. and its partners Friday yet again raised their offer for Club Méditerranée SA, highlighting the conglomerate’s determination to win a protracted takeover battle for the French resorts operator.

Ahead of a Friday deadline, Fosun’s investment vehicle Gaillon Invest II, said it raised its offer to €24.6 a share from its previous offer of €23.5 a share, representing a total value of €939 million ($1.53 billion) for Club Med.

The sweetened bid is the latest step in what has become the longest public takeover battle in French history.

The fight for control started 18 months ago, when Fosun made its first offer at €17 a share for the resorts operator that has vacation villages stretching from the Alps to the Dominican Republic. The battle heated up when Italian investor Andrea Bonomi earlier this year disclosed that he had acquired a large stake in Club Med. The two groups have since made numerous bids and counterbids, often topping their rival by small amounts only.

France’s stockmarket regulator AMF Friday tried to shorten the next bidding round. The AMF said Mr. Bonomi now has until Jan. 7 to react to the latest offer, after which Fosun will have only seven days to respond in return, a shorter delay than previously.

Mr. Bonomi, who is bidding via a vehicle called Global Resorts, earlier this month bid €24 a share, valuing Club Med a total of €915 million. Global Resorts is studying its options, said a spokesman in reaction to Fosun’s raised bid.

In the battle between the Chinese and Italian-led bids, Club Med’s Chief Executive Henri Giscard d’Estaing and its board have backed Fosun on several occasions.

Fosun, which has supported the French group’s strategy to expand in Asia and China since 2010, already owns 18.4% of Club Med. Mr. Bonomi via his Global Resorts investment vehicle, recently became Club Med’s largest shareholder, with 18.9%.

Club Med shares Friday traded up 0.4% after they were suspended pending the new bid.

— Thomas Varela contributed to this article.

Write to Ruth Bender at Ruth.Bender@wsj.com



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