BOSTON Aug 4 Activist hedge fund Marcato
Capital Management said on Monday that it has hired Houlihan
Lokey as a financial advisor as it seeks to persuade
InterContinental Hotels Group to consider selling
The $3 billion San Francisco-based hedge fund owns a 4
percent stake in the hotel group and has been urging the British
company to consider combining with a larger hotel operator for
"This review will focus on various alternatives including,
but not limited to, improving capital structure and/or capital
allocation and strategic transactions," Marcato said in a
The firm, founded by Mick McGuire who was previously a
partner at William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management,
also noted that "current, favorable market conditions" exist now
but may not "be available in the future."
A U.S. -based hotel operator has already approached
InterContinental, which owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza
brands, a person familiar with the matter said.
This suggests that an American company might seek to buy
U.K.-based InterContinental as part of a so-called inversion
play where the U.S. company could lower its corporate tax rate
by reincorporating abroad. These types of deals have gained in
popularity and have been pushed by some activist investors.
(Editing by Grant McCool)