InterContinental Hotels spurns mystery $10 billion offer

May 27, 2014

FORTUNE -- An American interloper has bid approximately $10 billion (£6 billion) to take over British hospitality giant Intercontinental Hotels Group, but the offer was rejected, according to reports from Sky News.

The British news outlet reports that it learned from unnamed sources that the board of IHG met several weeks ago and determined that the bid was too low, but that it was prepared for a counteroffer, or for an offer from a rival bidder.

Sky News did not know the identity of the mystery bidder, but suggested it could have been another hotel chain, such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts (hot), or an investment fund.

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The acquisition of a hotel chain in the U.K. would be lucrative for a U.S. hotel operator because it would enable that company to establish a tax home base across the pond, allowing it to avoid paying taxes on international cash holdings, according to the report. This mechanism has been important in the recent Pfizer-AstraZeneca takeover negotiations.

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