Gresham bid deadline extended

A BID by three property developers to gain control of the Gresham Hotel Group has attracted acceptances from just 28.3% of shareholders.

Precinct, the bid vehicle controlled by JJ Murphy, David Coleman and Brian Cullen, has offered €1.30 per share for Gresham, rising to €1.35 if more than 80% of shareholders back the deal.

Precinct has extended the deadline for Gresham shareholders to accept the bid to June 29.

The stumbling block to the bid going through is the 24% stake in Gresham held by the Israeli group, Red Sea Hotels, which has opposed the offer so far.

A Red Sea spokesman said a majority of Gresham’s shareholders share its view that Precinct’s offer does not represent good value “The fact is that Precinct would not have made an offer for Gresham if they did not believe there was value in the group.

“There is value in Gresham Hotel Group which should be exploited for all shareholders equally.

“Red Sea Hotels is proud to be a Gresham shareholder and continues to urge all shareholders to reject Precinct’s offer.

“Gresham’s core business has been neglected for far too long and the sooner Precinct lapses its offer, the sooner the board of Gresham can concentrate on core business.”

The Precinct bid values Gresham at around €105 million.

However, the offer is a full 15 cent below the initial price with which it had approached Gresham.

Unless the offer is sweetened substantially, it may fall at the June 29 hurdle given the stake held by Red Sea.

To gain complete control of Gresham and to take the hotel group private, Precinct would need 80% acceptances.

What is not known at this stage is the voting intentions of the Indian businessman, Chairai Balrau, who has recently built up a 10.9% stake in Gresham.

If he opposes the takeover then Precinct’s chances of a complete takeover would be scuppered.

His stake has been acquired through Israel Discount Bank.

It is understood that the Irish Takeover Panel are currently looking into possible links between Mr Chanrai and the Red Sea group.

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