US-owned Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) has made a bid, said to be around £3.6bn, to take over the UK-owned Hilton International hotel chain.

A statement by the British company, the Hilton Group conformed that it had received an “indicative offer” which it was “currently evaluating.”

The Hilton Group which also owns the Ladbroke betting and gambling operations added in its statement: “Discussions are ongoing and subject to the resolution of a number of issues.

“Consequently, there can be no certainty that a sale of Hilton International will take place.  A further announcement will be made in due course.”

HHC and Hilton International split up in 1964 with the former taking over all Hilton hotels in America and Hilton International running them in all other parts of the world.

Ladbrokes bought Hilton International 18 years ago but only adopted it as the company name from 1998 when it bought the Scottish hotel group Stakis.

HHC operates about 500 hotels in America across several brands, making it the third largest hotel chain in the country. Hilton International has about 400 properties worldwide.

The two groups have a common global reservation system and loyalty scheme and also run together the Hilton luxury brand, the Conrad Hotels of which there are 18 throughout the world but none in America.

There has been continuing speculation for several months that the two chains might either merge or work more closely together or the US-owned group would buy out the British operation.

However Hilton International are warning that the deal might still not go through despite the apparent advanced stage of the negotiations.

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