InterContinental Hotels Group Plc fell the most since Feb. 17 in London trading after the company said it isn’t in merger talks with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

InterContinental dropped as much as 4.5 percent Friday after the company responded to a Financial Times report that it has held early-stage merger talks with the U.S. lodging company. The shares climbed 4.6 percent yesterday.

“Following recent market speculation, the board of directors of IHG states that it is not in talks with Starwood with a view to a combination of the businesses,” InterContinental said in a statement after the market closed Thursday.

Starwood said in April that it was exploring strategic options, fueling speculation of a potential merger with a competitor such as Denham, England-based InterContinental, with brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands.

In a conference call with analysts Thursday, Stephen Pettibone, vice president of investor relations for Starwood, said the company’s exploration of options to increase value was “well under way.”


This article was written by Andrew Blackman from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Tags: ihg, starwood
Photo Credit: InterContinental Hotels CEO Richard Solomons. InterContinental Hotels