* Bonomi could make own bid or up stake to 29.9 pct if
Gaillon bid fails-source
* Gaillon's offer secured around 40 pct of Club Med so far -
* Paris Court to rule on legal action against Benetton on
* Club Med shares trading at five-year highs
(updates with closing share price)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, May 22 Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi
may boost his stake in Club Mediterranee to 29.9
percent and does not rule out launching a new bid should the 557
million euros ($761 million) bid he opposes fail, a source close
to the situation told Reuters.
The 17.50 euros per share bid launched a year ago by private
equity players Ardian of France and China's Fosun International
for the French holiday firm is set to close on Friday.
But the share price of Club Med has now climbed well beyond
the offer price to trade at five-year-highs above 19 euros amid
shareholder opposition to what they consider a low-ball price.
Through his Strategic Holdings fund, Bonomi has built a
stake of over 10 percent, becoming Club Med's largest
shareholder. He has said he will continue to raise his stake.
According to the source, who stressed the scenarios
discussed were "hypothetical", Bonomi may take that up to 29.9
percent - the maximum he can hold without launching a full offer
- should the Ardian-Fosun bid, made through a vehicle called
Gaillon, fail to reach the required 50 percent acceptance.
The source said Bonomi is also considering making his own
bid, which would come through one of his funds,
Investindustrial. Investindustrial, which owns theme parks
Gardaland in Italy and PortAventura in Spain, is considering its
options, Strategic Holdings has said.
The source would not provide indications on the price at
which a Bonomi offer could be made, but French daily Les Echos
has said he considered 21-25 euros a "fair" value.
Club Med shares closed up 0.52 percent at a new 5-year high
of 19.20 euros, having gained nearly 10 percent so far this year
and 30 percent last year, and leaving analysts betting that the
offer will fail.
"It is still hard to know what Fosun/Ardian reaction might
be, but we now believe that the current offer will fail," said
Kepler Cheuvreux analysts in a note, raising their price target
to 20 euros from 17.50 euros to "integrate the higher
Gaillon Invest, Strategic Holdings and Fosun all declined to
comment. Club Med could not be immediately reached for comment.
Gaillon has so far nearly 40 percent acceptances, sources
told Reuters. However, at least one shareholder has ducked out
of a commitment to accept the offer.
A French court is due to rule on Friday morning on a legal
action Gaillon has taken against another Club Med shareholder,
the Benetton family, after it removed its backing for the bid
and added the weight of its 2 percent stake to those demanding a
Fosun, with a 9.96 percent stake, and Ardian, with 9.4
percent, have said their plan is to accelerate Club Med's shift
to fast-growing emerging markets such as China to counter weak
growth in Europe.
"Were the bid to fail, (Club Med) management would be
significantly destabilised. Development might suffer especially
in China were Fosun to exit at some stage" said Exane BNP
French regulators have nine bourse trading days after the
close of the offer to release its results.
($1 = 0.7318 Euros)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Dominique Vidalon; Editing by