Club Med bidder files suit against shareholder Benetton: source

PARIS Sun May 18, 2014 3:46pm EDT

A Club Med travel agency is seen in Paris May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

A Club Med travel agency is seen in Paris May 12, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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PARIS (Reuters) - Gaillon Invest, the investment vehicle behind a takeover bid for Club Mediterranee (CMIP.PA), has taken emergency legal action against shareholder Benetton after the family stopped backing the deal, a source familiar with the matter said.

Gaillon has filed suit in Paris commercial court, the source said on Sunday, confirming a report in French weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

The Benetton family holds a roughly 2 percent stake in the French holiday firm via investment holding company Edizione. Edizione said last week it was dropping plans to sell that stake on the grounds that Club Med's share price was now considerably higher than the offer price from Gaillon Invest.

Gaillon, the investment vehicle of China's Fosun International (0656.HK) and French private equity firm Ardian, later warned Edizione it could face legal action if it reneged on its commitments.

On Sunday, Gaillon declined to comment further.

The Fosun-Ardian takeover bid for Club Med is set to close on Friday May 23 after a French court rejected on April 29 a shareholder challenge that had delayed it for almost a year.

Club Med shares closed at 18.66 euros on Friday, compared to a Gaillon offer of 17.50 euros per share, a price raised last June from an initial bid of 17 euros.

(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Writing by Natalie Huet; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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