More of such news and the price might just jump up..otherwise chart suggests retracement...overbought..
from the Times:
ESPORTA, the health and fitness club operator born from the embers of First Leisure, was thrust into the takeover spotlight yesterday after AIM-listed Crown Sports acquired a 6.8 per cent stake.
News of the move, which observers believe could be the precursor to a full takeover bid in the new year, came as Crown confirmed it was acquiring AIM-listed Dragons Health Clubs in a recommended bid worth £26.9 million.
The Esporta stake, worth £11 million at yesterday’s close of 97½p, down 5p, is being bought from London Merchant Securities, the property and venture capital investment firm, which is taking a 20 per cent stake in Crown as part of a £30 million share placing announced yesterday.
Crown, which recently changed its name from Golf Club Holdings, is offering 104p in cash and 3.717 Crown shares for each Dragon share, equivalent to about 215½p.
Jeff Chapman, the Crown Sports chairman, will see his 60.4 per cent stake diluted down to about 22 per cent in the share placing. Mr Chapman was formerly chairman of Sportsworld Media Group from which he resigned in July after reaping more than £100 million from selling his shares in the company.
Mr Chapman and Martin Knight, Crown’s deputy chairman, confirmed yesterday that they intended to make further acquisitions in the wider leisure sector and had applied to move up to a full stock market listing with the aim of achieving FTSE 250 status. Asked whether he might bid for Esporta, Mr Chapman said: “We regard it as a good investment.”
Analysts cited Cannons and Holmes Place as possible alternative targets for Crown, which is also expected to revisit some of the acquisitions Dragons has investigated over the past two years. It has held abortive talks with the privately owned Fitness Exhange, Bannatyne Health & Leisure and Axis chains.