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IHG Denies Reports of Sale or Merger

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 27, 2014: Holiday Inn hotel in Berlin. Holiday Inn is a brand of hotels with 3,400 locations (2015), part of Intercontinental Hotels Group.

Word on The Street Friday is that InterContinental Hotels is considering a sale or merger among other strategic options, but IHG begs to differ.

According to rumors on Friday, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG) is looking at strategic options, including a potential sale or merger, as a result in interest in the hotelier during a current uptick in lodging deals.

Bloomberg reports that IHG is considering the move as the hotel sector consolidates, noting that unidentified people with knowledge of the matter said that IHG has not made a final decision and could stay independent and make its own acquisitions.

A spokesperson from IHG has denied the rumors. “Following recent market speculation, the Board of Directors of IHG states that it is not considering a potential sale or merger of the company,” the company said in a statement.

IHG, worth 6.2 billion pounds ($9.4 billion), is the world’s largest hotel accommodation provider with 726,876 rooms in than 4,900 hotels in nearly 100 countries. The U.K.-based company operates under brand names InterContinental, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

In August, FlyerTalk reported that IHG and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide were in early-stage talks for a tentative union. At that time, an IHG spokesperson told FlyerTalk: “Following recent market speculation, the Board of Directors of IHG states that it is not in talks with Starwood with a view to a combination of the businesses.”

Rumors Starwood begun swirling in April, when Chairman of the Board Bruce W. Duncan announced it was exploring “strategic and financial alternatives” to increase shareholder value and “no option is off the table.”

Starwood, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., owns and operates 1,200 properties in 100 countries with 180,000 employees. The company’s brands include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, Element and Tribute Portfolio.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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JTCz November 7, 2015

If I were IHG, I'd deny it's a Holiday Inn and say the sign was photoshopped in...