Menzies Hotels has pulled out of a deal with a large investor that could have helped fund "an aggressive acquisition strategy" to double the chain to 28 hotels.
Former Thistle executive Nick Menzies, who founded the group in 1992 and holds a 45% stake, said the transaction would have given the company £200m to spend on hotels.
However, the deal was scuppered on Monday because of undisclosed "commercial issues" that could not be agreed.
Menzies said the idea had been to replace one large investor, whose time limit comes up next year, with another.
He said he would continue to talk to other private equity investors. "There is a lot of opportunity out there at the moment and we are looking to be part of it," he said.
Speculation that the potential new investor was Dawney Shore Hotels was dismissed by Menzies.