InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG Hotels & Resorts) CEO Keith Barr told the Financial Times this week that “several shareholders” had asked his team at an investor roadshow last month if it would consider a switch away from listing on the London stock market to New York’s exchanges.

Barr told FT reporter Oliver Barnes: “There’s no clamoring” for a switch in listing from shareholders, and management was “not currently considering” the matter, but acknowledged “that could change at some point in the future.”

Barr added that London was “not a very attractive place” for listed companies and called on authorities to encourage more liquidity and loosen regulations.

In a follow-up piece on Friday, the Financial Times Lex column offered some analysis:

“For IHG, moving its shares to the US would make sense. The Americas, led by the US, are its biggest regional market by both revenue and operating profit.

Analysts assess IHG using a forward enterprise value (market value plus net debt minus cash) to a multiple of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a proxy for cash profits. The ratio is currently about 13 times, which is roughly in line with its five-year pre-pandemic average.

This means the group trades cheaply to US peers operating similar “asset-light” models. Marriott trades on more than 14 times and Hilton nearly 16 times, according to data provider S&P Capital IQ.

Even so, that gap does not look huge. Barr will want to weigh up the costs of moving the primary listing against the benefits of pricier shares.”

The carpet is not always plusher in neighboring rooms.”

FT’s Lex column
IHG CEO's interview with the FT

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