Starwood Capital, the US hotel and property group, is considering a £3bn bid for Whitbread. Starwood has a reputation for being highly acquisitive and operates 950 hotels worldwide. It wants to get into the British market and has long been considered a potential suitor for Whitbread because of its experience running French budget chain Societe du Louvre. Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker last week announced the £500m sale of 235 Beefeater and Brewers Fayre pub restaurants. Analyst Richard Carter believes a bid would make sense for Starwood. Whitbread's businesses, he says, are worth far more individually than "the current sum of the parts". Meanwhile Whitbread could bid for Travelodge, the other major UK budget hotel chain which Permira has put up for sale. It would be able to cut costs by combining Travelodge with its own Premier Travel Inn chain. The Mail on Sunday (Financial Mail) 23/07/06 pages 1 & 2