NEW YORK: ITT brushed aside Hilton's hostile takeover bid with a brisk "no thanks, and, by the way, your offer is too low." ITT, which owns numerous properties including Sheraton hotels and Madison Square Garden, said that besides being too low, the Hilton offer of $55 a share (or $6.5 billion total) was incompatible with its goals. "There are serious business conflicts in a Sheraton-Hilton combination," said ITT chairman Rand Araskog. The move is part of a strategy designed to push Hilton's offer above $60 a share. "This is not the end of it. Now the real fun begins," says TIME's John Greenwald. "ITT made its expected move, and Hilton will very likely raise its offer." If Hilton's combative CEO Stephen Bollenbach had his way, the takeover would create the world's largest owner of hotels and casinos with 230,000 rooms and 30 gambling palaces. Once the very symbol of the corporate conglomerate, ITT has in recent years been struggling to streamline its diverse business operations, which range from publishing phone directories to running Caesars Casinos and basking in the glory of the New York Knicks and Rangers.