Herbert Smith advises GPG (UK) Holdings plc on its partial cash offer …

Herbert Smith advises GPG (UK) Holdings plc on its partial cash offer for De Vere Group Plc

Herbert Smith is advising GPG (UK) Holdings plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of long-standing client Guinness Peat Group plc, on its partial offer for 28.5 million shares in De Vere, the hotels and leisure group. This represents approximately 25 per cent of the De Vere shares currently in issue.

At the partial offer price of 415p per share in cash, the total value of the transaction is approximately £118 million.

When combined with GPG’s existing 10 per cent shareholding in De Vere a successful partial offer will result in GPG holding approximately 35 per cent of De Vere’s share capital.

If the bid is successful, Blake Nixon and Mark Butcher, directors of GPG, intend to seek appointment to the De Vere board to initiate a more dynamic strategy for De Vere, with the aim of releasing the substantial value which GPG believes is locked within the current structure, principally through a sale of the De Vere Hotels division.

Roddy Martin, who is leading the Herbert Smith team advising on the transaction, commented:

“There has been a paucity of partial offers in recent years and even rarer are partial offers, like GPG’s, which would result in the offeror holding a stake of between 30 and 50 per cent. I have grown to expect this from GPG though as they are always keen to structure transactions to suit their specific commercial intentions and will never slavishly follow precedent. In this regard both client relationship partner Michael Shaw and I find GPG a very interesting client to work with.”

Roddy Martin is being assisted by Michael Copeland and Victor Ding.