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Italian businessman trumps Chinese bid for Club Med
[PARIS] A long battle to control French holiday firm Club Med took another turn Tuesday after the French stock market authority announced Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi had made an improved offer.
Bonomi has been locked in a dragged-out fight with Chinese conglomerate Fosun and its partners over Club Med, which is coveted for its potential to appeal to new middle classes in emerging economies.
In a statement, the AMF announced that Bonomi is now offering 23 euros a share, which values the company at 874 million euros (US$1.1 billion).
The offer is bigger than the Fosun bid - worth 839 million euros - which the board of directors of the French holiday firm unanimously recommended last month.
It is also much larger than an offer previously made by Bonomi.
According to a source close to the situation, US private equity giant KKR is in talks to be a small co-investor alongside Bonomi.
Club Med first became a high-profile name in the European tourism industry because it offered holidays in hippy style villages where sports activities were included.
It has since moved up-market, weathering financial storms in the process, and is now looking for further expansion, including in China where it has been a partner with Fosun.