Airtours shareholders approve bid

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The Independent Online
AIRTOURS' shareholders gave its bid for Owners Abroad, the rival tour operator, the green light at an extraordinary meeting yesterday, writes John Murray.

Airtours' chairman, David Crossland, also disclosed that holiday bookings continued to improve. 'Winter 1992/93 bookings are currently over 19 per cent ahead of last year, while summer 1993 bookings are currently nearly 12 per cent ahead of the same time last year,' he said.

But Owners went on the offensive, claiming that Airtours' open offer of convertible shares had flopped. The offer closed on Friday with shareholders taking up 67.5 per cent of the 50.6 million shares. The rest were placed with institutions.

Howard Klein, chairman of Owners, said: 'We consider this result raises serious concerns as to the underlying value of Airtours' shares and reinforces the board's view that the shares represent an unattractive and vulnerable investment.'

But Mr Crossland said after the Airtours meeting that he was delighted with the results of the offer. He added that the group's results for the four months to January were in line with budgets.