• Morgans bid possible

Speculation about a takeover for boutique specialist Morgans Hotel Group has taken hold after it emerged that billionaire investor Alfred Taubman has acquired a 14% stake in the company.

Although Taubman declared in its filing about the stake that the move was only for investment purposes, it is expected that pressure will be brought to bear on Morgans future direction.

The 83-year old Taubman, a former chairman of Sotheby's, bought the stake through his OTK Associates vehicle.  Among OTK's managers is Taubman's son, Robert, the CEO of Taubman Centers.

Morgans was formerly Ian Schrager Hotels but was renamed following the exit of Schrager as its CEO. The sudden departure of former CEO Ed Scheetz last year, after a personal incident at his apartment in Las Vegas that involved the death of a woman, has helped create a climate of uncertainty at the company.

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