Orient-Express rebuffs Dubai offer

Orient-Express Hotels have sent a letter to Dubai Holding, an investment arm of the government, refusing its acquisition offer.

Dubai Holding, of Dubai, reported owning 3.9 million shares, or a 9.2 percent stake in Orient-Express.

Dubai Holding contacted Orient-Express on several occasions in the past few months regarding the development of a joint strategy and possible transaction involving the company and Dubai Holding’s hospitality assets.

In September, an affiliate of Dubai Holding made an offer to buy all of Orient-Express’ outstanding shares for $60 per share in cash.

Dubai Holding said it began acquiring shares to prevent another shareholder from acquiring a significant stake in the company.

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The letter contained the following text:

“It has been the view of the board of directors that the company’s standalone business strategy provided the best long-term value and opportunities for the company and its shareholders,” wrote President and Chief Executive Paul White. “As you are fully aware, our board has previously advised you that Orient-Express had no interest in the transaction Dubai Group wished to discuss.”

Dubai Holdings did acquire 9% stake in Orient-Express last week, but it seems that Orient-Express are keen to reject any further offer of a takeover. Dubai Holdings are also known to be keen to avoid the company being bought by anyone else as other suitors were hovering.
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