EasyGroup founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has insisted EasyHotel must remain a public company, describing investor consortium Bidco’s bid to take it private as “a colossal waste of money”.
The consortium took control of the board of the super-budget hotel brand after buying up 68.06% of issued share capital following a deal approved by directors last month, despite the protests of Sir Stelios.
Bidco is a newly incorporated company owned by a consortium of Cadim Fonds, part of Canadian real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge and real estate firm ICAMAP.
It has confirmed its intention to apply to take the company private if it can increase its ownership to 75%, something Sir Stelios has said will be blocked as EasyGroup maintains a 28% minority stake.
The founder said: “While I applaud the ICAMAP/Ivanhoe’s huge vote of confidence in EasyHotel, I must repeat my insistence that it remains a listed company on the London market.
"It’s now clear that EasyGroup’s 28% blocking minority stake and ICAMAP’s low ball offer has made it impossible for EasyHotel to be taken private. Therefore, this exercise was an object lesson in pointlessness. By taking their stake from 38% to 68%, ICAMAP have achieved little other than to enrich lawyers and bankers to the tune of £1.5m. What a colossal waste of money!”
Sir Stelios went on to urge Bidco to engage with EasyGroup to replace all directors who had approved the deal at what he described as an “undervalued offer”.
The investor consortium’s offer to shareholders will remain open to acceptances until 1pm on 1 October.
EasyHotel is one of the spin-off brands from Sir Stelios’ EasyGroup, best known for its budget airline EasyJet. The brand was launched in 2005 with its first property, a 34-bedroom hotel in London’s Kensington, and it now owns 11 hotels in the UK and franchises eight.