by Christina Golding
US predators are circling Gleneagles, which was put up for sale by its owner, Diageo, last week.
Managing director Peter Lederer said he was focusing on identifying the best company to implement long-term "strategic plans".
But he denied that a meeting last week at the hotel with the Savoy Group's Ram¢n Pajares was connected with the sale. US firm Blackstone Group acquired the Savoy Group earlier this year for £520m and has made no secret of its expansion plans.
Pajares said: "We had dinner. It was just on a friendly basis."
The official "for sale" sign went up after considerable interest from outside parties. It is understood that the 234-bedroom hotel could fetch up to £110m.
"It might be time to make a change if we find the right owner who can accelerate plans and developments," said Lederer.
"We have a strong brand in the resort market. What we could do here in the hotel and golf market is considerable," he added.
Although there are no firm offers on the table yet, it is understood that Starwood Hotels & Resorts - which recently acquired the Turnberry hotel and golf courses in Ayrshire - and Bass are among those showing interest.