IHG seeks new bidders for its New York hotel

Kasmira Jefford
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INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels group said it is seeking new bids for its $300m (£187m) Barclay Hotel in Manhattan after exclusive talks with a prospective buyer, believed to be Qatari hotel owner Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad, came to a halt.

“We are still talking to the original interested party but we have decided not to do that on an exclusive basis, as talks were taking longer than expected,” chief financial officer Tom Singer said.

His comments came as the owner of the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental brands posted an operating profit of $167m in the quarter to 30 September, $3m ahead of consensus forecasts and up from $153m a year ago.

Revenue per available room (RevPar) rose 3.9 per cent in the quarter and 4.8 per cent in October, led by a bounce-back in the Americas of 6.1 per cent.

The Olympics helped drive growth of two per cent in the UK in the quarter.

Singer said it was too early to say what impact hurricane Sandy has had on business along the East Coast of the US but added that typically hotels tend to be full as people seek refuge.

RevPar in Greater China slowed from six per cent in August to 0.9 per cent in September and 0.3 per cent in October due to a territorial dispute over Japan’s ownership of the Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China, prompting a reduction in the number of Japanese visitors, particularly to Hong Kong.

Singer added that growth would also be impacted for some months by the leadership changes within China’s ruling Communist Party.