Travelodge owner, private equity firm Permira, has admitted it is auditioning advisers to help decide the future of the budget hotel brand.
Options on the table are believed to include refinancing, a £1b sale, flotation, or a venture capital-backed management buyout (MBO).
Both Accor and Whitbread have already been identified as potential trade buyers. However, Travelodge made it clear last month that it would resist a rumoured £1b takeover by Whitbread and favoured the MBO route.
An approach from Whitbread (which owns rival budget brand Premier Travel Inn) could trigger an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
However, some analysts believe the OFT would judge the merger against the overall hotel market rather than just the budget sector, thereby avoiding any competition issues.
A spokesman for Travelodge said it was still early days and that Permira was in no rush to realise its assets.