Bidding war hopes lift Club Med shares

PARIS, July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 8:29am EDT

PARIS, July 1 (Reuters) - Shares in Club Mediterranee rose 10 percent on Tuesday after a new takeover offer by top shareholder Andrea Bonomi fueled hopes of a bidding war for control of the French resort operator.

Investindustrial, the private equity fund led by the Italian tycoon, offered 21 euros per share for the 64-year-old all-inclusive holiday pioneer on Monday.

The deal is at a 22 percent premium to an existing year-old 17.50 euro-a-share joint offer by French private equity firm Ardian and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International.

Cub Med shares, which were suspended ahead of Monday's announcement and resumed trading at 1000 GMT on Tuesday, were up 9.9 percent at 21.45 euros by 1221 GMT. The stock is up 20 percent from three months ago.

Exane BNP Paribas analysts said in a note that a counter-bid by the Ardian-Fosun alliance was "rather likely", although they "struggled to imagine a valuation above 21 euros".

The investment bank advised shareholders to tender their Club Med shares "at the last moment at the final best bidder".

Kepler Cheuvreux analysts said in a note that investors should "accept the (Bonomi) offer, but a potential counter bid should not be set aside", adding that it would depend on the "strategic appeal given to the group by Fosun".

The AMF French stock market regulator has yet to provide a closing date for the two competing offers.

Gaillon Invest, the investment vehicle of the Ardian-Fosun alliance, which has so far refused to raise its 17.50 euro offer, said on Monday: "We will study the project and its terms." (Editing by James Regan)

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