IHG Rumored To Be In Talks to Acquire Belmond

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We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the hotel industry in the past few years. Marriott has taken over Starwood, IHG has taken over Kimpton, and Accor has taken over Fairmont, Raffles, And Swissôtel. While it sounds like this isn’t anywhere close to being finalized (and may not happen), The Times ran an interesting story this week about a potential acquisition for IHG. While the story is primarily about a short term drop in IHG’s stock due to the company not paying dividends to shareholders, there’s an interesting rumor in there as well:

“There were strong rumours yesterday that Mr Barr had held recent preliminary discussions with Belmond, the New York-listed luxury hotel and train operator formerly known as Orient-Express Hotels, although his insistence at last week’s results that any target would have to be a ‘small, asset-light’ brand makes a deal unlikely — unless he can do a back-to-back sale of Belmond’s assets.”

For those of you not familiar with Belmond, up until 2014 it was known as Orient-Express, though they rebranded at that point (and there’s an interesting backstory to the rebranding).