Blackstone’s agreed $26bn (£13bn) purchase of Hilton Hotels Corporation at a 32% premium to its share price yesterday turned the spotlight on the hotels sector as analysts speculated on the prospect for further takeover activity. The Times. The Independent. The Guardian. Financial Times

Shares in Intercontinental Hotels, Whitbread and Millennium & Copthorne all pushed higher.

Merrill Lynch told clients that the Hilton deal had positive implications for asset-backed hotel operators, implying a company such as Whitbread might be an attractive bid target.

InterContinental owns only 24 of its 3,734 hotels, which include Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, whereas Whitbread, which owns the Premier Travel Inn chain, still owns its hotels.