Top Investors, Including Chinese Firm, Bidding for Club Med
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French holiday firm Club Mediterranee may soon become a private company under a buyout plan, as top shareholders plan to take over the company with a $700 million bid.
Chinese investor Fosun International and AXA Private Equity said Monday that they plan to make a formal offer of 17 euros per share "in the next few days." The group plans to privatize the company to make it "free from short-term constraints" and hopes to expand Club Med into emerging markets overseas, including targeting Chinese travelers headed to various destinations across the globe. China recently overtook the U.S. as the world's biggest source of foreign tourists, spending $102 billion on global tourism—a 40 percent rise from 2011.
Club Med has been greatly impacted by the euro crisis, leading to unemployment and a reluctance from consumers across Europe. It opened its first resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in 1950 and today operates more than 70 properties in 25 countries. The company has posted posted annual losses in five of the last seven years.
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