Blackstone finalises De Vere takeover

3rd Apr 2006

Blackstone, the American private-equity giant, is finalising a takeover offer for De Vere Group PLC that will value the operator of the famous Belfry golf course at more than 700 mln stg, The Sunday Times reported citing sources familiar with the situation. They said Blackstone was likely to table a bid worth up to 850 pence-a-share before the end of this week, according to the newspaper.

However, it said Blackstone faces competition from a number of potential counter-bidders, including Spanish hotel chain NH Hoteles SA.

De Vere owns 19 four and five-star hotels across Britain, including the Grand in Brighton and the Cavendish in Londons Mayfair. The group is also home to the Village-branded hotel chain, Greens fitness clubs and GJ Greenall, which makes white spirits.

A takeover of De Vere would land Steve Morgan, the multi-millionaire housebuilder, with a windfall approaching 100 mln stg for his 13.7 pct stake.

The latest talks follow a previous approach to De Vere last December, also said to have been from Blackstone.



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