5 de diciembre de 2014 / 12:32 / en 3 años

UPDATE 5-Italian tycoon Bonomi tops Chinese offer for Club Med

* Guo’s Fosun says reviewing situation after Bonomi move

* Latest bid is the seventh since May last year

* Shares trade at premium to 915 million euro bid

* Guo’s Fosun has until Dec. 19 to respond (Adds quotes from Bonomi at news conference, closing shares)

By Dominique Vidalon and Elisa Anzolin

PARIS/MILAN, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi raised his takeover bid for Club Mediterranee to 24 euros a share on Friday, trumping a 23.50 euros offer for the struggling French holiday group from Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang.

Bonomi’s latest move in France’s longest-running takeover battle values the loss-making group at 915 million euros ($1.1 billion). It is the seventh offer its investors have been asked to consider since May last year when Guo offered a low-ball 17 euros a share.

Shares in Club Med closed 2.18 percent higher at 24.32 euros, a sign that some investors expect the bidding to go higher. Bonomi had previously bid 23 euros per share.

Guo, through his Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun , said he was “reviewing the situation”.

Club Med is suffering from tough competition in the holidays sector, weak growth in Europe where it does most of its business, and a stalled attempt to take itself upmarket.

But both Guo and Bonomi see turnaround potential and growth prospects in emerging markets, especially China. The company’s management has consistently backed Guo’s offer.

Bonomi, who held a news conference in the posh Bristol hotel in Paris together with Serge Trigano, the son of Club Med’s founder, said he was “quite serene” he would eventually prevail, stressing his was a “long-term industrial approach”.

“A company like Club Med needs love ... Tourism is like other sectors, if it’s well managed, it can do well,” he said.

Trigano would become non-executive chairman if Bonomi wins.

Bonomi said U.S. investment fund KKR, which joined his camp in November, may hold between 20 and 40 percent of Global Resorts, the investment vehicle making the bid.

The saga has been running so long that Club Med executives have voiced concerns about the impact on a business founded in 1950 and a pioneer of the concept of the all-inclusive holiday.

Club Med’s current CEO Henri Giscard d‘Estaing has warned Bonomi’s bid would require massive cost cuts to make the investment profitable.

Bonomi said on Friday it would take some time to make Club Med profitable, but stressed: “To date we have no plan to cut jobs at Club Med. We have an ambitious growth plan”

Bonomi has repeatedly said he believed Club Med suffered from poor management and a lack of investment and that China was not the sole region where the group should expand.

Club Med’s stock has gained 37 percent so far this year and over 70 percent since Fosun made the first offer in May 2013.

Each side has built similar, rival stakes in the company. As of Dec. 1 Bonomi had 18.9 percent and Guo 18.3 percent.

Stock market regulator AMF has already stepped in the process to accelerate it and force the bidders to respond more quickly. On Friday it announced that any counterbid from Guo would have to be in by 1700 GMT on Dec. 19.

$1 = 0.8091 euros Additional reporting by Pascale Denis; Editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter

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