Allegis Corp. has not yet been approached by representatives of Marriott Corp. and the Pritzker family, which are considering a joint offer for Allegis, a source close to the Chicago-based airline and hotel company said yesterday.
But the source said Allegis was aware that Bethesda-based Marriott and the Pritzkers -- a Chicago family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain and Braniff Airlines -- were considering a bid for Allegis, whose divisions include United Air Lines, Westin and Hilton International hotels, and Hertz Corp.
Industry sources said over the weekend that Marriott and the Pritzkers discussed the deal as recently as last week, and have been trying to line up financing for the takeover, which analysts have said could cost as much as $7 billion. Apparently Marriott and the Pritzkers would split up Allegis' hotel properties between themselves and sell the company's airline and car-rental holdings.
Marriott continued yesterday to stand by a carefully worded statement denying that it "currently" is negotiating a possible takeover of Allegis. But it said that "under the proper circumstances" it would be interested in Allegis' hotel properties. Industry sources say Marriott would be interested in adding Allegis' overseas hotel operations to its own, most of which are located in the United States.
An assistant to Jay Pritzker said the family had no comment on the reports. The Pritzkers are said to have been accumulating stock in Allegis in recent weeks.
An Allegis spokesman said the company had no comment on the situation. But Allegis has said it is seeking to sell its hotel and car-rental operations. The planned sale is part of a corporate retrenchment following the ouster two weeks ago of Chairman Richard J. Ferris, who had envisioned Allegis as a full-service travel conglomerate, but was unable to sell his vision to the company's unions, Wall Street and, ultimately, the company's board.
Allegis' directors are scheduled to hold a regular monthly meeting Thursday, the spokesman said. He declined to say what was on the agenda for the meeting.
Allegis stock, which has been rising steadily on takeover speculation in recent weeks, went up 12 1/2 cents yesterday to $90.37 1/2, in moderate New York Stock Exchange trading.
In addition to rumored bids from Marriott, the Pritzkers and other hotel owners for Allegis' hotel operations, some unions at United have expressed interest in acquiring the airline. Yesterday, a spokesman for the United pilots, who have offered $4.5 billion for the airline, pending the arrangement of financing, said the pilots had no comment on the Marriott-Pritzker plans. But he indicated that an announcement from the union might be imminent.
Keither Gollust, one of the heads of Coniston Partners, an investment group that owns the largest block of stock in Allegis, said he was aware of the Marriott-Pritzker discussions but had not been approached about a possible purchase of the group's holding. "I don't know anything one way or the other," he said.
Gollust, who with his partners owns 13 percent of Allegis, said the group had not had negotiations with any possible buyers, although it had had inquiries from various potential suitors for Allegis he would not identify. CAPTION:THREE BUSINESS EMPIRES