July 6, 2014 / 6:36 PM / in 4 years

France's CDC denies mulling counter bid for Club Med

PARIS, July 6 (Reuters) - French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) on Sunday said it was not mulling a counter bid for French resort operator Club Mediterranee in which it was a shareholder.

The CDC reacted to Le Journal du Dimanche’s report which said the bank was preparing a rival offer, prodded by Club Med’s Chief Executive Henri Giscard d‘Estaing to find a solution to ensure the holiday company remained in French hands.

“The Caisse des Depots would like to make clear that while, as a shareholder, it follows closely the potential evolution of the company’s shareholder capital stemming from two public offers for its capital, no plan to take part in an offer is being reviewed,” the CDC said in a statement.

Without citing sources, the French paper wrote the CDC “was mulling a deal to preserve its tricolour roots” and the “idea would be to organise a counter bid with the Caisse, whose stake amounts to 8 percent when including convertible bonds.”

Club Med was not immediately available for comment.

Club Med on Monday received a takeover offer from top shareholder Andrea Bonomi which valued it at 790 million euros ($1.1 billion) and fuelled hopes of a bidding war for control of the 64-year-old all-inclusive holiday pioneer.

On Tuesday, Club Med’s board said it would review the offer which trumped a rival 557-million-euro bid from French private equity firm Ardian and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International 0656.HK..

D‘Estaing played the national champion card on Friday in the battle for control of Club Med, saying a sale to Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi would hand control to foreign investors.

Under an indicative calendar provided by Bonomi to French AMF stock market regulator, his offer would start on Aug. 7 and run until Sept. 11. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt, editing by Louise Heavens)

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