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French holiday giant Club-Med set for Chinese takeover

Club Mediterannee Chairman and CEO Henri Giscard d'Estaing (2ndL) and Qian Jiannong (L), President of Fosun Tourism & Commercial Group, in Paris December 19, 2014
Club Mediterannee Chairman and CEO Henri Giscard d'Estaing (2ndL) and Qian Jiannong (L), President of Fosun Tourism & Commercial Group, in Paris December 19, 2014 REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi yesterday bowed out of a longstanding race to take over struggling holiday giant Club Med, after his bid was trumped by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang.

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It was an offer that Club Med shareholders could not refuse. At the last minute on Friday, Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang sweetened his bid for the struggling holiday giant with an offer of 24.60 euro per share, 60 cents more than Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi.

Evidently for previously interested Bonomi, the asking price was too high, and he wasn't prepared to go beyond his 24 euro-a-share offer.

His investment group Global Resorts will now withdraw its bid and sell its Club Med shares, either on the market or to Guangchang's Fosun group.

Fosun, which has tried five times in the past 18 months to gain ownership of Club Med, valued the holiday operator at more than 900 million euros.

Its new 24.60 euro offer, made just hours before Friday's 1700 GMT deadline, is seven times more than its initial 17 euro bid, and gives it majority holding.

Club Med's shares on Friday slipped to 25.09 euros. The French company has had a roller-coaster financial performance recently, struggling to eek out profits earlier this decade and then losing 9 million euros in 2013 as it closed several resorts.

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