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LONDON-A family consortium owning more than 40% of Jurys Doyle has launched a euro 1.25-billion ($1.5-billion) takeover bid for the Irish hotel group. Officials of JDH Acquisitions, which represents members of the Doyle family, says it would pay a premium of 41.5% over Jurys’ closing share price on May 6, the day before takeover rumours first emerged. The board says it had unanimously agreed to recommend the offer to shareholders. But acceptance of the offer will still require the approval of more than 50% of voting shareholders.

The consortium owns 26,578,635 shares in Jurys Doyle, just under 42% of the issued share capital. Spokespeople for the group say it has received irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer in respect of about 45%.

“The independent board believes that the price to be offered by JDH Acquisitions represents an attractive opportunity for Jurys Doyle shareholders to realize their investment,” says Richard Hooper, chairman of Jurys Doyle. “In addition, Jurys Doyle shareholders who were on the share register on Sept. 16, 2005, will remain entitled to receive the interim dividend of 8.82 cent per share.” JDH Acquisitions includes five board members and the daughters of the company’s late founder, PV Doyle.

Jurys Doyle, which operates 36 hotels in Ireland, Britain and the US, has been the subject of intense takeover speculation since May.

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