May 12, 2014 / 6:17 PM / in 4 years

Fund ups stake in Club Med, casts doubt on takeover

PARIS, May 12 (Reuters) - An investment fund led by Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi has boosted its stake in French holidays company Club Mediterranee and stands ready to increase it further, casting more doubt on a much-delayed takeover bid.

Bonomi’s Strategic Holdings will not support the longstanding offer from China’s Fosun International and French private equity firm Ardian, the fund said in a statement to French markets regulator AMF.

“Strategic Holdings confirms that at the close of May 12, it has acquired a 7.2 percent stake in Club Med,” a spokesman said. “It intends to continue acquiring additional shares under certain conditions.”

The Fosun-Ardian takeover offer via the bid vehicle Gallion Invest is set to close on May 23 after a French court rejected on April 29 a shareholder challenge that had delayed it for almost a year.

The shareholders, led by the Association for the Defence of Minority Shareholders (ADAM) and Charity Investment Asset Management (CIAM), challenged the offer on the basis that it was too low.

Fosun and Ardian, formerly Axa Private Equity, initially planned on offering 17 euros a share, but revised their offer to 17.50 euros in June 2013. Club Med shares now stand well above the improved offer price, at 18.8 euros at the close on Monday.

Bonomi’s Strategic Holdings does not have a specific target for its holding in Club Mediterranee, the spokesman said. (Reporting by Andrew Callus and Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Ingrid Melander and David Evans)

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