Activist US hedge fund Marcato Capital Management yesterday lit a fuse under the independence of British hotels giant InterContinental Hotels Group by calling for the firm to actively seek a merger, claiming it could double its share price.
The San Francisco-based Marcato also publicly released a report it had commissioned from LA-headquartered financial advisers Houlihan Lokey supposedly proving the strategic value of a merger.
Marcato said that the evaluation showed that joining forces with a rival hotel could double IHG’s share price. The company said: “Marcato found that an equity combination could deliver a premium upwards of 100 per cent over IHG’s current share price.”
IHG released a response, saying it had rejected the proposal after analysing the report. IHG shares rose 3.42 per cent to 2,537p.