EasyGroup founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has accused fund manager ICAMAP of trying to “steal” easyHotel from under investors’ noses, in his latest attempt to block a takeover of the business.
Sir Stelios, whose other brands include easyJet, easyGym and easyProperty, said the group’s 95p-a-share offer for the hotel chain did not reflect its value.
“I think ICAMAP is simply trying to ‘steal’ this company from under the noses of other investors,” he said on Wednesday.
Sir Stelios also said he had tried to buy up more shares in easyHotel in an attempt to block the merger but was only able to acquire less than 0.01% of the share capital.
The tycoon has a 27.5% stake in the business, but was only able to buy 10,000 additional shares at 95p each despite bidding up to 96p.
He said the failure to find more sellers for 95p was “proof that the real value of an easyHotel share today is well above ICAMAP’s offer”.
“I ask all shareholders to join me in rejecting the current offer of 95p as I have done for our entire stake,” he said.
It comes on the same day that ICAMAP, the Luxembourg-based firm which has teamed up with Canadian pension fund Ivanhoe Cambridge for a takeover bid valuing easyHotel at £138.7 million, said it had built up its own stake to over 50%.
Shareholders have until 1pm on September 17 to accept the offer.
Shares in the company were trading 1.6% higher at 96p on Wednesday.
EasyHotel’s board has previously recommended the offer, saying it will allow the group to expand into more cities.