LEISURE group Ladbroke today announced it had struck an agreed takeover offer for the Stakis hotels group.

The offer values Stakis, which owns the Metropole and Bedford Hotels in Brighton as well as the Arundel Hotel in West Sussex, at £1.16 billion, slightly higher than its original offer.

The Stakis board has accepted a cash and share offer valuing itsstocks at a total of 146p each, which is 32 per cent above the group's market value before the talks were announced.

The price, which includes Stakis' 1.75p a share dividend due to be paid for last year, beats Ladbroke's originally discussed offer of 140p.

Many analysts had said the group would fetch a higher price than Ladbroke, which owns the Hilton International at Gatwick, originally suggested.

If the takeover goes ahead, it would see Stakis hotels rebadgedunder Ladbroke's Hilton name.

The current Stakis managers would be taken on to strengthen the buyer's existing team.

Stakis chief executive David Michels will become chief executive of Hilton International and join the Ladbroke board.

Cost savings resulting from combining the groups' administrative and marketing operations would tot up to at least £16 million a year by the end of 2000.

Between them, the two companies have 38 Hilton and 54 Stakis hotels, five London Ladbroke casinos and 22 in the Stakis chain and 67 of Stakis' LivingWell health clubs.


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