UK: Granada Compass mulls acquisition on the continent
Following last Tuesday's announcement that Granada Compass was in talks to sell off its Le Meridien, Posthouse and Heritage hotel chains, the British hotels and catering group is now believed to be mulling acquisitions in the US and continental Europe.The two overseas rivals that have been tagged for takeover are the US-based ARAMARK and the Italian restaurant group Autogrill, and the addition of either is estimated to be worth more than £2bn to Granada. The hotels to be sold meanwhile are thought to be worth £3bn, and interested parties include the Hilton Group, French hotel group Accor and Bass.It is believed that Granada Compass is particularly keen to expand its operations into continental Europe, but such speculation will not be satisfied until the start of December, as industry sources have revealed that no deal will be finalised until Granada Compass reports its annual results. In the meantime, the group's shares closed last week on a low of 678p, and after its recent demerger with Granada Media, the group's first trading statement will be issued later this week.
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