Hotel Brands

Consortium to take control of Easyhotel despite founder’s objections

Newly-formed consortium, Citrus UK Bidco, is set to take control of budget hotel chain Easyhotel after upping its stake to over 50%, despite the objections of Easyhotel founder Sir Stellios Haji-Ioannou.

Yesterday, ICAMAP Investments, a member of the consortium agreed to acquire 2,595,724 EasyHotel shares (representing approximately 1.78% of the issued share capital of the budget hotel chain) at 95p per share.

The news comes after Bidco, made up of ICAMAP and Canadian Investment firm Ivanhoé Cambridge, launched a £139m takeover for the company last month. 

At the time Haji-Iaonnou rejected the offer as “very low” and called for shareholders to take no action. 

Additionally just before the announcement Haji-Iaonnou accused ICAMAP of trying to “steal the company from under the noses of other investors” and revealed he attempted to purchase more Easyhotel shares this week with the intention of boosting his holding in the company. 

He said: “My plan was to increase my stake in Easyhotel PLC from the current level of just under 28% to just under 30%. However, we managed to find only 10,000 shares at 95.00p and despite bidding up to 96.00p, we found no other willing sellers at that price. We will continue to buy shares in the open market up to the limit of just under 30%.”

“Clearly this purchase of a token number of shares, less than 0.01% of the share capital, was all that was available to my brokers and is evidence that there are not many sellers at 95.00p. This is proof that the real value of an easyHotel share today is well above ICAMAP’s offer.”

ICAMAP said Wednesday that the acceptances for the 95.00p per share Citrus offer must be received by September 17.

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