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De Vere has launched another salvo against investor GPG in its ongoing battle to stop it buying 25% of the hotel chain’s shares. At the end of March, GPG, a subsidiary of investment company Guinness Peat Group, made a £118m partial offer for De Vere.

Its aim is to raise its stake in the group to 35%, and so force a sell-off of the 21-strong De Vere-branded chain. De Vere Group has already slammed the offer as ‘derisory’ and today, in response to GPG posting its offer document to shareholders, reiterated its belief that the offer was ‘wholly inadequate’.

It said: ‘The partial offer is an attempt by GPG to obtain effective control of De Vere for a derisory price and without making an offer for all De Vere’s shares.’

It strongly urged shareholders not to accept or approve the offer, with chairman Peter Daresbury describing it as “poorly conceived” and an “unnecessary distraction”.

He added: ‘We have identified substantial opportunities to improve the returns of our De Vere Hotels, alongside the accelerated roll-out of Village Hotels and other high-returning investment and acquisition opportunities. I am confident that this strategy is the best way forward for the group.’

GPG, in posting the document, stressed its offer to buy the 28.5 million shares at 415p per share represented a premium of 1.7% on the closing price on the day before it announced its offer.If successful, GPG claimed it would “initiate a much more dynamic strategy to release the substantial value which it believes is locked within the current structure.”

This would primarily be through the sale of the De Vere Hotels division, which it believes “is unlikely in the foreseeable future to be fully valued as part of a publicly quoted company.”


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