Rumor mill: Will IHG sell or merge with another company?

InterContinental Hotels Group is reportedly exploring a potential sale or merger. Bloomberg is reporting that the world's largest hotel company, which has a market value of $9.7 billion, is in talks with financial advisers on whether it should sell itself or combine with a competitor as the sector consolidates. No final decision has been made, the story notes, and the company may choose to stay independent and could focus on making acquisitions of its own, insiders told the news source.

InterContinental shares rose as much as 7 percent in London, and traded up 3.5 percent to 2,702 pence at 12:30 p.m. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment.

In July, InterContinental denied that it was in merger talks with Starwood (itself the subject of intense sale/merger speculation) after the Financial Times reported that negotiations had taken place. Bloomberg reports that IHG is also in talks to buy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, owner of Singapore’s Raffles hotels.
The Denham, England-based company last month reported that third-quarter room revenue rose 4.8 percent from a year earlier, which it credits to increases in all regions except Greater China.

Update: The Board of Directors of IHG released a statement that it is not considering a potential sale or merger of the company.