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Byline: Nicola Hobday and Jonathan Braude in London
Pub and restaurant entrepreneur Hugh Osmond said Wednesday, Feb. 19, he is considering a takeover bid for Six Continents plc, potentially foiling the hotel and pub group's plans to split into two businesses.
The announcement sent Six Continent's shares up as high as 620 pence, before they declined again to 590 pence. That was still up 6.4% on Tuesday's close and brought its market capitalization to pound sterling4.83 billion ($7.68 billion).
Six Continents' board responded with a stock exchange statement saying it has yet to receive an approach from Osmond's holding company but would "consider on its merits any proposal that offers a combination of compelling value and certainty of delivery."
Six Continents is demerging its pubs business from its hotel operations. Analysts had expected …