IHG rises on takeover buzz as Chinese deny plotting a bidComments Off on IHG rises on takeover buzz as Chinese deny plotting a bid
The world’s biggest hotels group Intercontinental Hotels benefited from rising speculation about its future today despite Chinese insurer Anbang ruling itself out of buying the group for now.
Shares in the FTSE 100 group gained 50p, or 1.6%, amid mounting hopes IHG, led by London-born Richard Solomons, will be the latest name to fall prey to the takeover merry-go-round in the hotels sector.
Anbang, which owns the Waldorf Astoria, yesterday denied reports that it was plotting a takeover bid for the Holiday Inn and Intercontinental London Park Lane, which would be worth about £7 billion.
It followed weekend reports that IHG-linked bankers travelled to China in June to hold talks about a deal.
IHG has long been flagged as a takeover target, given a recent boom in M&A as hoteliers seek to bolster flagging growth. Two of the world’s biggest, Starwood and Marriott, agreed to merge this year but not before Anbang made a last-ditch counterbid for Starwood.
Panmure Gordon leisure analyst Anna Barnfather said: “Scale is important in that market. Even though it’s been denied, it just highlights the pressure to get scale. If it’s not (Anbang) it will probably be someone else.”