Activist investor Marcato steps up push for change at IHG

LONDON Mon Aug 4, 2014 7:39am EDT

LONDON Aug 4 (Reuters) - Activist investor Marcato Capital Management said on Monday it had hired a financial adviser to assist in a strategic review into "enhancing shareholder value" at InterContinental Hotels Group.

IHG, the world's biggest hotelier, was urged by Marcato in May to consider a tie-up with a rival that would reshape the hospitality industry, after British media reports emerged that the firm had rebuffed a mystery 6 billion pound ($10 billion)U.S. takeover offer.

Marcato, which said it owns a stake of around 4 percent in IHG, said it had hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey as an advisor to help review various alternatives for the hotel group, including improving its capital structure and/or capital allocation and strategic transactions.

Marcato said it intended to engage with IHG's board and with shareholders in the company.

Shares in IHG were down marginally at 2,370 pence by 1123 GMT.

($1 = 0.5944 British Pounds) (Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by David Holmes)