The reclusive Barclay brothers have divested their 10.4 percent stake in InterContinental Hotels for £330 million. The surprise sale has quashed rumours that the billionaire investors would attempt a take-over of the world’s largest hotel chain.
Sir Frederick and Sir David, who’s £1.8 billion fortune includes ownership of the London Ritz and The Telegraph newspaper, bought their stake for £316 million in 2007, at the height of the market, when InterConti was the subject of intense bid speculation.
Although the brothers have made a small loss on the sale price, the share price of the group has recovered dramatically since the worst of the financial crisis, and has included a special £2 per share dividend. The shares now stand 86 percent higher than 12 months ago due to a resurgent recovery of the global hospitality sector.
The timing of the disposal raised questions over what next the Barclay brothers would invest in next.
According to the Mail, some insiders said the pair need it to invest in one of their businesses. Others suggested they may have a new target in their sights.
The disposal wiped 7.42 per cent off IHG’s shares, which closed down 89p at 1,110p.
But yesterday’s £330million disposal, implying a loss of about £14million, does not include the benefit of a 200p-a-share special dividend and ordinary shareholder returns during the period.