Orient-Express Hotels, owner of the iconic train and some of the world's top luxury hotels, is reportedly on the market for a fee of more than £1.5b.
The company, which owns or operates 38 of the world's best-known hotels, including Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, in Oxfordshire and the Cipriani, in Venice, is understood to have received approaches from a number of potential suitors.
The Times suggested that luxury hotel operator Von Essen Hotels and American private equity firms Blackstone Group and Starwood Capital are interested.
Bermuda-based Orient-Express Hotels, which is controlled by James Sherwood and his family, has been seen as vulnerable to a bid since Sherwood's stepson, Simon, announced last month that he would be stepping down as chief executive in August.
Orient-Express Hotels also runs ‘21' Club, the famous New York restaurant.
By Daniel Thomas
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