Premier Inn owner Whitbread has ended merger talks with budget hotel rival Travelodge killing off a potential £3b tie-up.
In a statement to the stock market today Whitbread said that, following speculation of a tie up between Premier Inn and Travelodge, preliminary talks had indeed taken place.
However it added that these discussions had now ended. The statement said: "Premier Inn is the largest hotel company in the UK. Whitbread will continue to make significant investment to grow Premier Inn in both the UK and internationally."
Premier Inn is already the UK's largest hotel chain and is Whitbread's biggest and best performing business. A tie-up would have created a budget hotel group with 800 hotels.
Last year Whitbread coughed up £21m to rebrand its budget hotel empire from Premier Travel Inn to Premier Inn to avoid confusion with rival Travelodge.
Travelodge is owned by Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity group owned by the Arab Emirate's ruling sheikh.
By Chris Druce
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