Corporation’s Hotel Group and Marriott International Inc. today announced
the signing of a non-binding letter of intent for Cendant to purchase
Ramada International Hotels & Resorts, primarily a franchised brand of 204
hotels representing 27,728 rooms in 26 countries and territories.
Pending approval by regulatory authorities and final negotiation of terms,
the signing of a sales agreement and closing on the deal are expected to
occur in the next few months. Financial terms and transition plans were
not disclosed. Both Cendant Corporation and Marriott International do not
expect that the financial impact of the transaction will be material.
This transaction would complete the acquisition of all worldwide trademark
rights for the Ramada(R) brand by Cendant’s Hotel Group Inc., which
earlier this year acquired the trademark rights for the United States,
where it franchises 819 Ramada properties representing 94,128 rooms.
Cendant Hotel Group also currently licenses Ramada rights in Canada, where
it franchises 71 properties representing 7,571 rooms.
Ramada International Hotels & Resorts primarily franchises hotels under
the Ramada Plaza, Ramada Hotels, Ramada Resorts and Ramada Encore brands
in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Central
America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Mexico and
Steven A. Rudnitsky, Cendant Hotel Group chairman and chief executive
officer, said the transaction would “unite the Ramada brand as a worldwide
entity under a single company and further demonstrate Cendant Hotel
Group’s commitment to the brand,” which he said is about to undergo a
major upgrading and repositioning throughout the United States and Canada.
“When completed, this purchase of Ramada International will extend our
control of the brand throughout the world and integrate two systems
currently led separately by Cendant and Marriott,” he said. “Both domestic
and international franchisees would benefit from sharing of best practices
while retaining the unique cultural approaches to doing business in each
Marriott acquired the rights to Ramada through a larger acquisition in
1997. Following the acquisition, Marriott continued to license the Ramada
name in the United States to Cendant Hotel Group under existing long-term
agreements. In March 2002, the two companies formed a joint venture called
Two Flags that licensed the trademarks for Ramada and Days Inn in the
United States. Cendant Hotel Group exercised its option to redeem
Marriott’s interest in the Two Flags joint venture in April.