Thistle Hotels has denied it is in formal discussions with any potential buyers after press reports over the weekend claimed Japanese bank Nomura was interested in snapping up the hotel chain.
The company’s share price, which climbed by 9.33% to 146.5p last week, has rallied strongly since it dropped to 103.5p back in October.
For the past three years, major shareholder Brierley Investments has been rumoured to have been seeking a buyer for its Thistle shares. But late last year, analysts believed the price it was seeking for its 45.9% stake was too high for potential buyers.
Thistle insiders attribute the recovery in the company’s shares to the cooling passion for dotcom stocks. They believe that investors, who initially moved into the utilities sector for safety, are now turning their attention to the leisure sector.
Thistle owns 56 mostly four-star hotels in the UK, 23 of them in London. The company, whose recent trading statement revealed an 8% boost in turnover last year to £342m, unveils its preliminary results on 5 March.