Reclusive Barclay brothers sell entire 10% stake in InterContinental Hotel

The reclusive British billionaires, Barclay brothers, owners of the Ritz in London and the Daily Telegraph newspaper, yesterday sold their entire stake in InterContinental Hotel Group for around £335 million ($520 million).

Windsor, UK-based InterContinental, which also owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chain of hotels, yesterday said that Barclay brothers, the group's biggest shareholder, sold their entire 29.9 million shares or around 10-per cent stake through their investment vehicle Ellermann.

The shares were sold at £11.20 each by Barclays Capital, following which, the share price of InterContinental fell 6.9 per cent.

Ellerman had started acquiring a stake in InterContinental at the end of 2006 and hiked it to about 10 per cent in May 2007, which led many analysts to surmise that the brothers would eventually mount a bid for the group.

The twins, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay hold substantial business interests in media, retail and property. The Sunday Times Rich List of 2007 had estimated their wealth at £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion).

The media shy and reclusive Barclays are well known for their philanthropy and were knighted in 2000 for contributions to medical research, having donated around £40 million between 1987 and 2000.

Their Press Holdings company owns The Business and The Spectator magazine, while their Press Acquisitions Limited owns The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.