IHG eyes bid for Qatar-owned Fairmont – report

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding also owns stake in Canadian operator Fairmont
IHG eyes bid for Qatar-owned Fairmont – report
Pascal Gauvin, chief operating officer, India, Middle East and Africa for IHG.
By Neil Halligan
Sun 02 Aug 2015 12:55 PM

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is reportedly eyeing a bid for luxury hotel chain Fairmont, according to a report in UK media.

It was reported in June that owners of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, which include a Qatari government fund (Katara Hospitality) and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company, are looking to sell the luxury operator.

Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley were hired to market the Toronto-based company, whose brands comprise Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.

FRHI operates 116 hotels with nearly 44,000 rooms in 34 countries. The list includes some historic luxury properties like New York’s Plaza Hotel, the Peace Hotel in Shanghai and the Savoy in London.

One hotel executive estimated that FRHI could fetch up to $3 billion for the sale of the company.

IHG had been in discussions with Starwood Hotels over a possible multibillion-dollar merger, according to the report the Sunday Times, but regulatory issues meant “talks never got off the ground”, a senior City source said.

IHG, which owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, is said to be looking at investment in other hotel groups, including FRHI Hotels & Resorts and Swiss-based hotel management firm Mövenpick. A decision on whether to make a bid for either group has not yet been made, with Asian sovereign wealth funds also said to be interested.

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