Holidaybreak Rises After Confirming Talks With Cox & Kings

Holidaybreak Plc (HBR), which sells Eurocamp and Keycap vacations, rose for a second day after confirming it’s in talks about a possible 432.1 pence per share takeover offer from Cox & Kings (India) Ltd.

The U.K. company’s shares gained 12 percent. Yesterday the stock rose 15 percent after Holidaybreak said it was in talks with a third party it didn’t identify.

“There can be no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made,” Holidaybreak said in a statement on the Regulatory News Service today.

Mumbai-based tour operator Cox & Kings, which is partly owned by a unit of Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), made an initial public offering in December 2009, to fund acquisitions and tap the rising numbers of Indians who are traveling abroad.

Holidaybreak, based in Northwich, England, sold its West End Theatre Bookings Ltd. unit for 10.9 million pounds ($17.9 million) in June to focus on educational trips, which it says are less affected by dips in discretionary spending.

The company’s shares rose 44.5 pence to 411.5 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close in London. The shares have risen 20 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 291 million pounds.

Yesterday’s announcement that Holidaybreak was in talks came as no surprise, because “the valuation remains modest,” Greg Feehely, an analyst with Altium Securities, wrote yesterday. He has a “buy” recommendation on the stock.

Sky News said yesterday that an agreed all-cash transaction with Cox & Kings worth about 450 million pounds including debt might be announced within days.

The 253 year-old Cox & Kings began as a transport service for British troops. Holidaybreak is being advised by a unit of Citigroup Inc. (C)

To contact the reporter on this story: David Altaner in London at daltaner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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