De Vere shareholder makes final offer in sell-off row – updated

09 June 2004
De Vere shareholder makes final offer in sell-off row – updated

Activist shareholder group GPG has made final its 430p-a-share partial offer for the De Vere Group.

GPG is pressing De Vere for a swift sell-off of the hotel group's 21 upmarket De Vere-branded properties for more than £550m.

It is aiming to take control of 35% of De Vere Group to force through its strategy. GPG already holds 10%.

GPG said yesterday it had secured acceptance from shareholders representing a further 2.13% of De Vere's share capital.

But it claimed support for its strategy from another 10.29%.

The offer was declared final and extended until 1.00pm on 18 June.

At the same time, GPG continued its attack on De Vere's management, saying the board's claim that maximising shareholder value was its number-one priority was undermined by its track record.

It also said De Vere had refused to provide shareholders with its valuation of the De Vere hotels division.

GPG added: "The De Vere Hotels division is chronically undervalued by the stockmarket and the De Vere board's three-year strategy fails to address [this]."

De Vere said today that GPG's proposals remained "misconceived and inadequate" and continued to advise shareholders to reject the partial offer.

Chairman Peter Daresbury said: "GPG has had the chance to air its views on De Vere's strategy but has received virtually no support from shareholders for its proposals."

He added that the company looked forward to being able to implement its strategy without the unwelcome and costly attraction of fending off GPG's partial bid.

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