The Dutch hotel group Golden Tulip has gone into voluntary receivership.
The group, which owns or franchises 780 hotels around the world, said it was in talks with Apollo Hotels over a possible merger.
The chain, which has its headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland, blamed low occupancy and the cost of investing in new properties as the causes of its demise.
Reuters quoted a spokesman for the group as saying it had filed for suspension of payments as protection from creditors.
An interim receiver will be appointed by a court.
A statement from Tulip said: "The general decline in the leisure and hospitality sector due to the recession, have also had their impact on Golden Tulip," the group said in a statement.
"Especially outside the Netherlands and Belgium the occupancies have declined substantially in the last three quarters."
Tulip said it was now in talks with Apollo, which is a smaller Dutch hotel group, about a possible merger.
It is also in talks with a private equity firm H2 Equity Partners.
Less than six weeks ago Golden Tulip announced that it was moving into Russia.
It said it had signed an agreement with IFK Hotel Management, a Moscow hotel management company, to be its official representative and market its brands, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip.
Receivership will not affect the running of the hotels, Golden Tulip said as all but 60 of its hotels were independently owned franchises.
Report by Stanley Slaughter