BOSSES at a Burton-based hotel giant have declined to comment on speculation that it had turned down a £6 billion takeover bid.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) distanced itself from reports that it had been targeted by an unnamed American firm and that it had flatly rejected the offer was it was ‘too low’.
The group has more than 4,600 hotels worldwide and also includes the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn chains, one of which is situated just yards from its head office in Centrum 100.
The firm employs hundreds of people in the town and thousands worldwide.
An IHG spokesman said: “We decline to comment on rumour and speculation.”
The now global firm has links that stretch back to the launch of Bass brewery in 1777.
In 1988, the brewer made its first significant international move into the hotel industry, buying Holiday Inns International.
One year later, the Beer Orders legislation was passed, which limited the number of tied pubs that major brewers can own and signals a major industry restructuring.
As a result, Bass reduced the number of pubs that it owned and directed cashflow into developing an international hotel business.
In 1990, the firm Bass purchased the North American Holiday Inn business.
The firm launched Holiday Inn Express in 1991 and then Crowne Plaza in 1994.
In 1998, Bass acquired the InterContinental hotel company and in 2000 sold Bass brewers for £2.3 billion.
This marked the final step in refocusing the group from a domestic brewing operation to a leading international hospitality retailer – a process that took more than 10 years to complete.
In 2003, the final separation of the group’s hotels and soft drinks businesses saw InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) launched as a distinct, discrete company, listed in the UK and the US stock market.