Italian investor Andrea Bonomi has raised his offer for Club Med to €24 a share, outbidding an improved bid from a Chinese rival.
Friday’s offer, which valued the French all-inclusive resort operator at €915 million, came four days after Chinese conglomerate Fosun International increased its offer to €23.50.
France’s stock market said rival bidders have until December 19 to trump Bonomi’s latest bid.
It has already shortened the times rival bidders have to respond, but has yet to enforce any fixed date for final offers.
Club Med management, which has backed Fosun’s offer, is concerned that the uncertainty caused by the tug of war over the company is affecting medium-term plans, the Financial Times reported.
Club Med shares, which the stock market authority suspended temporarily on Friday, climbed to €24.33 by mid-afternoon – a sign that investors are expecting Fosun to continue the battle.
The shares have gained almost 40% since March when Bonomi first started buying shares – and more than 70% since Fosun made its first offer of €17 a share in May last year.
Bonomi confirmed on Friday that he intended to take the company private if his bid proved successful.
“Club Med needs a period of calm,” he said.
Fosun – whose Gaillon Invest II special-purpose vehicle includes French private equity group Ardian, Club Med’s management, and Chinese online travel agent U-Tour – has promised to keep the company listed.
Fosun International, controlled by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, holds 18.3% of Club Med shares, while Bonomi and his partners hold 18.9%.