Bid on Club Mediterranée shares launched by Global Resort started last August 18th and will run till next September 19th, French Authority on financial markets (Amf) said last August 14th (download here the Amf’s press release). Amf gave its go-ahead to the bid last August 13th saying it was in line with market rules (download here Amf’s press release).
Amf also said last August 14th that French private equity firm Ardian and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International withdrew their offer for the resort operator launched at 17.50 euro per share through Gallion Invest (download here the Amf’s press release).
Global Resort is 90% owned by Investindustrial’s funds and 10% owned by two international operators in the tourism and hotel sector ( South African entrepreneur Sol Kerzner and Brazilian GP Investments) and acts in agreement with Strategic Holdings sarl. The latter is the investment veichle owned by the Bonomi family through its BI-Invest holding which in turn is the principal investor in Investindustrial’s funds. At the moment Strategic Holdings owns a 9.92% stake in Club Med’s shareholders capital down from 10.566% after the number of Club Med shares grew in the last few weeks due to conversion of some convertible notes (download here the Amf’s press release),
Club Med’s Board of directors advised at the end of July that the 21 euro per share takeover offer for the holiday group from Investindustrial was in shareholders’ interest, Tthe board added, however, that in light of contradicting statements published in the press, it could not “unreservedly” confirm that the offer was in the company’s interest. A sentence that has to be read as a concession to current chairman and ceo Henri Giscard d’Estaing, son of former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, The Pdg is directly involved in the Ardian-Fosun’s offer (see a previous post by BeBeez).
Fosun and Ardian however have still time to launch a counter-bid. Under the French law a launch is possibile until 5 days before the current offer expires that is to say until next September 12th. As far as BeBeez is concerned, Fosun International might look for a new ally different from Ardian or directly look for a partnership with Investindustrial in China,
In the meantime Giscard d’Estaing and other Club Med’s top managers might try to stop Global Resort’s bid for months going to the Court telling that Amf’s favourable decision about the bid was wrong. A similar path was tried last year by some minority shareholders who stopped Ardian-Fosun’s bid for 9 months.