InterContinental seeks fresh bids for New York Barclay

LONDON Tue Nov 6, 2012 2:24am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L), the world's biggest hotelier, is opening up talks on the sale of its New York Barclay hotel to a wider group of prospective buyers after holding lengthy exclusive talks with one group, the company said on Tuesday.

Investors had been looking for an update on the sale of the Barclay which is expected to fetch around $300 million. Analysts had previously identified Qatari hotel owner Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad as the likely buyer.

The British-based group, which operates the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn as well as InterContinental brands, reported operating profit of $167 million in the quarter to the end of September, just ahead of consensus forecasts, and up from $153 million a year ago.

The company said revenue per available room, a key industry measure, had grown by 4.8 percent in October, according to provisional trading figures.

"The global economic environment remains challenging," Chief Executive Richard Solomons said.

"However, our forward bookings remain encouraging and we are confident that IHG is well positioned to continue to outperform based on the considerable strengths of the business and our focused strategy for high quality growth."

(Writing by Keith Weir, 44 20 7542 8022)

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