(Adds details, background, no comment)
By Neil Maidment
LONDON Aug 4 Activist investor Marcato Capital
Management has hired an investment bank to advise it on strategy
at InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG), three months
after reports the firm had rebuffed a 6 billion pounds ($10
billion) takeover bid.
Marcato, which said it owns a stake of around 4 percent in
IHG, said it had hired Houlihan Lokey to help review various
alternatives, including improving the hotels group's capital
structure and/or capital allocation and strategic transactions.
"Marcato believes current, favourable market conditions ...
exist to significantly enhance IHG shareholder value, which may
not be available in the future," the firm said. It gave no
further detail on what the alternatives might consist of.
IHG had been urged by Marcato in May to consider a tie-up
with a rival that would reshape the hospitality industry, after
British media reports said the company had rebuffed a 6 billion
pound U.S. takeover offer from an unnamed suitor.
Marcato said it intended to engage with IHG's board and with
other shareholders in the company, which runs some 4,700 hotels
including under the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn names as well
as its namesake brand.
IHG has not commented on the reported takeover offer or on
Marcato's statements and on Monday declined to comment when
contacted by Reuters.
Marcato was unavailable for further comment.
Shares in IHG, which have risen 30 percent on a year ago,
were flat at 2,375 pence by 1201 GMT, valuing the business at
5.6 billion pounds.
The company, due to report its half-year results on Tuesday,
had said in early May it would return $750 million to
shareholders and was considering selling off more hotels to
boost future cash returns, bolstering its share price.
($1 = 0.5944 British Pounds)
(Editing by David Holmes)