Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang is set to buy French holiday resorts firm Club Med in a deal worth over €900m (£704m) after winning a long-running bidding war against Italian rival Andrea Bonomi, it was revealed yesterday.
Billionaire Bonomi conceded defeat late on Friday. Guangchang’s conglomerate Fosun International had raised its bid for the holiday company to €24.60 a share just before Christmas – valuing Club Med at €939m. The bid ousted a €24 per share offer from Bonomi’s Investindustrial – which also owns Aston Martin – with the Italian subsequently conceding defeat.
Bonomi’s withdrawal brings to end an 18-month saga that saw the company’s offer price raised a number of times and paves the way for Fosun to control the French vacations specialist.
It is thought that Fosun will look to expand Club Med into emerging economies in an attempt to tap into the increased consumer spending of their growing middle classes. China, in particular, represents a target destination, and could account for up to a third of Club Med’s customers if Fosun succeeds in the takeover attempt.
Founded in 1950 by Belgian Gerard Blitz, Club Med is considered the original all-inclusive resort. It grew into one of the world’s largest tour operators but has suffered in recent years due to growing competition, evolving holiday preferences and the global economic downturn.