Ladbroke unfazed by Hilton's ITT bid

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The Independent Online
Ladbroke was unfazed yesterday by Monday night's $10.5bn (pounds 6.5bn) bid from its US partner Hilton Hotels (HHC) for ITT, owner of the Sheraton hotel chain and Caesars World casinos, writes Tom Stevenson. Initial worries yesterday that the deal might get in the way of a potential bid for Ladbroke by Hilton evaporated and the shares closed 0.5p higher yesterday at 229p.

Analysts had earlier speculated that Hilton's planned acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Ladbroke, a possible precursor to a bid, might be put on the back burner now the US hotel group had bigger fish to fry. A cross-shareholding arrangement was struck earlier this month as part of a larger marketing and reservations co-operation agreement between Hilton and Ladbroke, which has the rights to Hilton hotels outside North America.

The deal re-united the Hilton brand name around the world for the first time in 33 years. It allowed both sides to take a stake of up to 20 per cent in the other and Hilton had indicated that it intended to take an initial investment of 5 per cent.