China takes Club Med stake
CHINA’S largest non-state holding, Fosun, has acquired 7.1 per cent of holiday resort group Club Med, the first time a quoted Chinese group takes a direct holding in a high-profile listed French company.
Club Med hopes to make China its second-biggest market in the next five years while Fosun is keen to invest in Club Med, whose all-in one resorts appeal to well-heeled Chinese. The Chinese tourism market is estimated to have grown by about 10 per cent a year and Club Med is hoping to attract 200,000 Chinese customers by 2015.
Club Med said it aimed to open five villages in China by then and would inaugurate its first village this winter in Yabuli, the largest ski resort in north-east China. As part of the deal, Fosun pledged not to lift its stake beyond 10 per cent if it reached that level, at least during the following 24 months, subject to no other shareholder wanting more than 10 per cent.
Fosun said a representative would join Club Med’s board and if its Club Med holding went beyond nine per cent, Fosun would appoint a second representative. “Fosun will not only support Club Med’s global strategy of upscale positioning and sharing China’s growth opportunities but also use this opportunity to benchmark itself with international brands and standards in order to improve its ability to consolidate resources and manage its investment said Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang.