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C&N made a bid for Thomson Travel

LONDON. London`s Evening Standard reported that C&N<.> Touristik (Condor & Neckermann) made an official hostile takeover bid for Thomson<.> Travel Group at the amount…

LONDON. London`s Evening Standard reported that C&N  Touristik (Condor & Neckermann) made an official hostile takeover bid for Thomson  Travel Group at the amount  of £1.3 bn. This ends longtime speculation of the German groups interest on Thomson`s shares.
If the deal succeeds, dozens of holiday brands such as Britannia, Thomson Holidays, Crystal Holidays and Portland direct will end up in “foreign hands”. It would also mean a domination of the British package holiday market by German-held companies, following TUI Group`s recent acquisition of the Thomas Cook Group.
Thomson`s performance as a publicly-quoted company has been disappointing and in the last year shareholders have suffered a collapse in the company`s share price.
C&N`s chief executive commented that “the combination of the two groups can bring benefits to both customers and employees. We believe that our proposal will be welcomed by Thomson shareholders.”
Reaction at the City of London was mixed. At the current offer price, the bid values Thomson at £400 million less that it was worth by the time of flotation, but it still reflects a premium of 36,5% to yesterday`s closing price of 95.5p. Thomson shares rose by 33.5p to 122.75p today, while C&N`s offer to Thomson shareholders equals 130p per share all in cash.
Although Thomson initial reaction was one of “rejection”, it is expected that Thomson shareholders would hardly think twice before getting rid of their undervalued shares. Crucial to the decision would be the reaction of the Thomson family in Canada which still owns a 20% of the shares, as well as of other UK institutional shareholders such as Prudential and Legal & General. C&N Touristik currently owns 2.9% of Thomson.

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