A prolonged bidding war for the acquisition of French holiday firm Club Méditerranée took another turn with a sweetened counter bid from a consortium led by Italy’s Bonomi family, pushing the offering price to €23 from €17 per share in an original bid announced last May, according to media reports.
The new counter bid, which values the Paris-based Club Med at €874 million, came from Global Resorts SAS, a subsidiary of Investindustrial Group run by the Bonomi family.
This time, it counts U.S. private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. (KKR) as a minority co-investor in the deal.
In June, the two parties decided to improve the terms of the offer, which has the backing of Club Med’s chief executive, Henri Giscard d’Estaing, to €17.5 apiece due to pressure from shareholders.
Then in August this year, the French financial markets regulator confirmed that Global Resorts has proposed a sweetened deal at €21 per share. A few days later, Fosun announced it would withdraw its bid.
But a month later, Fosun and Ardian, with a new co-investor Chinese travel agency U-Tour, launched a last-minute counter offer with a price tag of €22 per share, valuing Club Med at €839 million.
At that time, Fosun bought Ardian’s stakes in Club Med to increase its total shareholding to 18%, compared with 10% owned by Global Resorts then.
With the latest counter bid, Global Resorts says the consortium it led has bought Club Med shares on the open market, bringing its total shareholding of Club Med to 15.9%, with options to further expand it to 18.9%.
Founded by the Italian Bonomi family, Investindustrial operates through a series of investment funds and holding companies, each managed independently and established in the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United States and China.
The family currently has around €4.4 billion of assets under management.