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Danubius Hotels gets buyout offer from CP Holdings

Danubius Hotels Nyrt, eastern Europe's second-largest hotelier, received a buyout offer from CP Holdings Ltd. for Ft 5,825 ($27.70) a share. CP Holdings, based in London, made the offer for shares it doesn't already own in the Hungarian hotelier, according to a stock exchange statement yesterday. The company already has 53.4% in Danubius, in part through two other companies it owns, Israel Tractors and Equipment Co. Ltd. and Interag Holding Zrt The three companies together made the bid for Danubius. “The offer price is really low,” said Zsófia Németh, an analyst at Concorde Securities in Budapest. Concorde values Danubius at Ft 5,900 a share, she said. Danubius, with units in the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and London, has benefited from more tourism to eastern Europe following Hungary's European Union accession in May 2004. The company, which is now raising prices to fight competition and counter declines in the region's currencies versus the euro, reported a wider first-quarter pretax loss in May of Ft 2.4 billion versus Ft 1.8 billion a year earlier. The shares jumped as much as 5.2% after the announcement and closed 3.5% higher at Ft 6,000 in Budapest, valuing Danubius at Ft 49.7 billion. The bidders plan no change in management or regular employees at Budapest-based Danubius, they said in the statement. (Bloomberg)