The bidding war for French holiday group Club Med heated up Friday as Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi's Global Resorts said it raised its offer to counter the takeover ambitions of Chinese rival Fosun.
Bonomi's group has offered 24 euros per share valuing Club Med at 915 million euros ($1.125 billion) in the takeover competition that began more than 18 months ago and is the longest in the history of the Paris stock market.
The Chinese conglomerate's latest bid, joined by Brazilian investor Nelson Tanure, on Monday was 23.50 euros per share valuing the holiday group at 890 million euros.
Trading of Club Med shares in Paris, which the French regulator AMF had suspended at mid-day, resumed late afternoon and closed up 2.18 percent at 24.32 euros per share.
AMF also announced a deadline of December 19 for Fosun to make a new counter-offer.
After Fosun's last offer, Club Med's board of directors had said it was "concerned about the consequences of the higher bids" and the impact of a high purchasing price on the group's employees and partners.
At the same time, Club Med's CEO Henri Giscard d'Estaing has expressed his support for Fosun's bid.
At a press conference on Friday Bonomi defended his counter-offer, which has been criticised as making Club Med too expensive, saying "Club Med is a business that needs love."
Club Med first became a top name in the European tourism industry for its all-inclusive budget family villages.
It has since moved up-market, weathering financial storms in the process, and is now looking for further expansion, including in China where it has been a partner with Fosun.
According to company figures released last week, of the 25,000 new clients Club Med attracted in 2013, 80 percent were Chinese -- and the rest were Brazilians.