UK budget hotel sector consolidation could be on the horizon with a deal between Premier Inn parent Whitbread and rival Travelodge.

Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker has indicated that if Travelodge became available for sale “we would have to look at it”.

Premier Inn, the UK’s largest budget hotel chain, has 587 UK hotels compared with the Travelodge portfolio of 386 properties But Parker insisted that the company was not relying on consolidation to expand Premier Inn.

Travelodge is seen as a likely takeover target as owner, private equity firm Dubai International Capital, restructures its UK assets. Whitbread attempted a takeover of Travelodge two years ago.