Whitbread investors are being urged to allow chief executive Alan Parker to reshape the company in his own timeframe rather than that demanded by hedge funds and venture capitalists. Speculation has been rife that private-equity groups are circling, complaining that the Premier Travel Inn hotels sit oddly with the TGI and Costa Coffee chains. But Throg Street columnist Richard Wachman points out the company is already worth more than £2.5bn, compared to £2bn when Parker took over 16 months ago. Ultimately he expects it to look like two companies – a pubs and restaurants business on one hand and a hotel chain on the other. The Observer 16/10/05 (Business) page 11