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Savoy shares slip amid growing doubts over sale

SHARES in the Savoy group fell 135p to 1665p yesterday amid growing doubts about a pounds 500m-plus sale of the company, writes Andrew Yates.

As The Independent first revealed, the Wontner family, which owns a substantial stake in the group, is divided on whether to sell the Savoy. Several members of the clan are vehemently opposed to a deal which could see the group fall into American hands.

It emerged yesterday, however, that Granada, the leisure and media group which owns a 68 per cent stake in the group, is willing to compromise over how much it would receive as a result of any sale in order to push the deal through.

It is waiting for a firm offer to be tabled before it reopens negotiations with the family over the division of the spoils. The Savoy also runs Claridge's, Connaught and Berkeley hotels.

Blackstone Group, the US investment group, is willing to pay pounds 520m for the Savoy but the group has attracted interest from a number of US hotel groups.