Shares in the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) fell yesterday by 7.4% following the news that the Barclay brothers had sold their 10% stake in the company for around £335m.
Ellerman Corporation, an investment company owned by David and Frederick Barclay, offloaded almost 30 million shares to more than 60 institutions for £11.20 apiece.
The Barclays, who own the Ritz hotel in London, had been IHG's biggest shareholders, with most of the shares having been acquired in 2007. When they increased their stake to 5% in early 2007, the IHG share price rose to a record high at the time of £13.42.
The Times reports today that the brothers may now be interested in using the money raised from the IHG deal to put towards the purchase of Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, London, which is currently being sold by the Royal Bank of Scotland for more than £500m.
Leslie McGibbon, head of corporate affairs for IHG, said that the fact that there had been a healthy demand for the Ellerman shares from 60 different institutions reflected the positive mood about IHG and the hotel sector in general.
By Janet Harmer
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