Gresham Hotel shares drop after bid refusal

SHARES in the Gresham Hotel group dropped by nearly 7% last night after it rejected a takeover offer.

The largest shareholder in Gresham, the Israeli hotel group Red Sea, rejected the indicative bid of €1.35 a share as undervaluing the company. As it owns close to 27% of Gresham’s share it was able to block a takeover as the mystery bidder for the company said it wanted acceptances for the offer from 80% of shareholders.

Last month, the unnamed consortium, believed to be a group of property developers, lowered its indicative takeover price from €1.45 to €1.35 per share.

The move followed due diligence on Gresham’s books and after a re-valuation of Gresham’s properties, the bidders made the lower approach as the values were not as high as it expected.

Shares in Gresham had soared in recent months on takeover speculation. Yesterday they closed down 7% at €1.10 on the Irish Stock Exchange.

For 2003 Gresham reported that pre-tax profits, excluding exceptional items, up 40% to €1.7 million, compared with €1.2 million in the 11 months to December 2002.

The hotel booked a 5.5% drop in turnover to €47.9 million.

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