28 de noviembre de 2014 / 7:08 / en 3 años

UPDATE 2-Bid target Club Med hit by problems in Europe, Africa

* Bid target reports annual loss

* Bookings down 18.8 pct in Europe-Africa in last 8 weeks

* CFO says bid saga cost 6 mln euros, delaying projects (Adds CFO comments, shares)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Club Mediterranee, the holiday group at the centre of France’s longest running takeover saga, said weaker demand in Europe, unrest in the Middle East and Ebola fears in Africa hit bookings and helped push it to an annual loss.

The target of rival bids by Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi and Guo Guangchang, China’s richest man, vowed to pursue growth into emerging markets as European sales falter.

It also plans to push further into an upmarket sector that already accounts for 73 percent of its client base.

Bonomi has bid 874 million euros($1.1 billion) for Club Med and Guo Guangchang’s Fosun vehicle has until Monday to respond.

Both sides believe that new investments and a push into new markets will revive Club Med which has a shrinking customer base and has not paid a dividend since 2000.

Winter bookings in the last eight weeks to Nov. 22 fell 18.8 percent in the Europe and Africa regions but rose 4.8 percent in America.

The company closed some lower cost resorts in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, incurring a 13 million euro charge which tipped the business into a net loss of 9 million euros for the year to Oct. 31, unchanged from the previous year.

Club Med said that barring a further deterioration in the environment it expected its net income to be positive in 2014/15 as lower costs feed through.

By 1045 GMT, Club Med shares were flat at 23.75 euros. The shares have gained 37 percent this year and 72 percent since the first offer in May 2013.

Chief Financial Officer Michel Wolfovski said the bid battle was delaying some investments and had cost the company six million euros so far.

Earlier this month Bonomi offered 23 euros per share for Club Med, one euro more than Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun had bid.

Fosun said last week it was in talks with Brazilian investor Nelson Tanure about raising the stakes again.

Neither the Fosun nor the Bonomi camp would comment on the results on Friday.

1 US dollar = 0.8029 euro Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus/Keith Weir

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