Six Continents Unveils Hotels-Pubs Demerger Plans

18 February 2003

London-headquartered hotels and leisure giant Six Continents on Monday revealed the blueprint for spinning-off its hotels operations from its pubs business.

The intention to demerge – and thereby return £700 million ($1,118.66m; €1,044.09m) to shareholders – was originally outlined last fall, the group’s strategy being the creation of two separately listed businesses.

It emerged yesterday that the separation will be completed by April 15 and the new duo renamed InterContinental Hotels Group (comprising the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn groups) and Mitchells & Butlers (All Bar One and O'Neill’s pub chains). For every 59 current Six Continents shares, stockholders will receive 50 hotel shares and 50 retail shares plus a cash payment of £0.81 ($1.31; €1.21) per share.

Six Continents finance director Richard North, who will become chief executive of the revamped hotel business, believes the new company will remain independent.

“I find it difficult to see which hotel company is in any financial position to make an offer given the weakness of their balance sheets and the size of our business," opined North, adding that venture-capital firms are rarely prone to making hostile bids.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff