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Savoy owner Fairmont rejects takeover bid

23 December 2005

Canada-based hotel group Fairmont, the owner of London's Savoy hotel, has rejected a $1.2b takeover bid from corporate raider Carl Icahn, calling the offer "inadequate".

Fairmont's board said the ofrfer was "not in the best interests of Fairmont or its shareholders".

It urged shareholders to reject the partial bid, at $40 a share, for approximately 41% of Fairmont's share capital.

Chairman Peter Godsoe said: "We believe that the Fairmont Board of Directors - rather than Mr Icahn - is best qualified to make decisions about the future of Fairmont.

But he added that a special committee of independent directors was looking at alternatives to the Icahn offer "which may include a possible transaction with one or more third parties".

Fairmont said the Icahn offer was too low, that Icahn lacked experience of operating a company such as Fairmont, and that the alternatives could provide shareholders with greater value.

Fairmont's managed portfolio includes 88 luxury hotels with about 34,000 bedrooms in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Barbados, the UK, Monaco, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.

by David Shrimpton

Tycoon lines up bid for Savoy owner >>

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