RPT-IHG urged by asset management firm Marcato to explore takeover deal

Thu May 29, 2014 9:19am EDT

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LONDON May 29 (Reuters) - A large shareholder in Intercontinental Hotels Group on Thursday urged the world's largest hotelier to consider a 6 billion pound takeover offer that was reported to be coming from a U.S. bidder.

Marcato Capital Management, which said it owned 3.8 percent of outstanding shares in the hotel chain, said the prospect of a merger with a larger hotel operator would have "compelling strategic and financial merit" and would be a unique opportunity.

Sky News last week reported that IHG had rejected a 6 billion pound takeover offer from a U.S. bidder, but the company has declined to comment since.

"We strongly encourage Intercontinental Hotels Group's Board of directors to explore such a combination and engage advisors to conduct a formal process to ensure it evaluates the full range of opportunities available to maximize value," said Mick McGuire, managing partner at Marcato.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang, editing by William Hardy and Keiron Henderson)

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