Orient-Express Hotels has been tipped as the next hotel group to attract the interest of private equity.
An unnamed American hedge fund, Starwood Capital, which has a 4% stake, US buyout firm Blackstone and investment bank Morgan Stanley are thought to have looked at the business, reports The Times.
There has been speculation about the future of a number of hotel groups following Blackstone's £10b bid for Hilton Hotels Corporation last week.
InterContinental, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International have all been put in the frame, and now Orient-Express Hotels has been added to the list.
The group, which owns or runs 39 of the world's best-known hotels, including Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, in Oxfordshire and the Cipriani, Venice, has been seen as vulnerable to a bid since the resignations in quick succession of its chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer.
Only the chairman's post has been filled, although a new chief executive could be named within weeks.
The Times suggested that luxury hotel operator Von Essen is keen to buy Orient-Express's European properties and has been talking to financial institutions about a joint approach.
By Daniel Thomas