Report: Starwood Hotels Reaches Out to Potential Bidders

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc has reached out to potential bidders, including InterContinental Hotels Group Plc and Wyndham Worldwide Corp, after deciding to explore a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Starwood, which owns the St. Regis and Sheraton hotel brands, has also approached sovereign wealth funds, the sources said this week, asking not to be identified as they were disclosing confidential information.

Starwood had said in April it would explore strategic alternatives.

The Financial Times reported earlier on Thursday that InterContinental had held early-stage talks with Starwood.

In a brief statement, InterContinental said it "is not in talks with Starwood with a view to a combination of the businesses." Starwood and Wyndham declined to comment.

Starwood's advisors began enquiries with potential suitors for the Stamford, Connecticut-based company in early June, people briefed on the matter said at the time.

As part of its exploration of strategic alternatives, Starwood has also announced plans to spin off its vacation ownership business, to be called Vistana Signature Experiences.

Earlier on Thursday, Starwood reported an 11 percent drop in quarterly profit, hurt by a charge and the strong dollar, and trimmed its 2015 profit forecast.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Bernadette Baum)