Last year, and again earlier this year, rumors were flying that U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) might be interested in a merger with global lodging giant Starwood Hotels. Nothing came of those rumors, but now there are new reports that IHG is on the verge of buying a luxury competitor for 1.9 billion pounds (about $2.9 billion).
The target this time is said to be Fairmont Raffles Holdings International, which controls the Fairmont and the Raffles brands, as well as Swissotel and some independent properties. Owned by a Qatar-based investment group, Fairmont Raffles Holdings International includes some of the world’s leading properties like the Savoy in London, the Plaza in New York, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
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A hookup between the two would be especially interesting in San Francisco, where the Fairmont and IHG’s Mark Hopkins rule the roost atop Nob Hill.
IHG has been accumulating a cash horde in recent months from the sale of some of its key hotels like those in Hong Kong and Paris, although it maintains management contracts for them.
Altogether, Fairmont Raffles Holdings International has about 100 properties worldwide.
Will the rumors prove true this time? Stay tuned. If so, it will likely mean a lot more luxury hotels where members of IHG’s Rewards Club can earn and burn loyalty points.
Here’s how to sign up for an IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and earn 60,000 bonus points!
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