Starwood closes on Host Marriott sale

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has closed on a sale of 28 hotels - including hotels under the Sheraton, W, Westin, St. Regis and Luxury Collection brands - to Host Marriott. The hotels will remain in the Starwood system and continue to be managed by Starwood under long-term management agreements.
The total value of the transaction for the 35 hotels in the entire portfolio (including cash, stock, and the assumption of debt) is approximately $4.23 billion. Starwood shareholders have directly received $2.8 billion or 66% of the proceeds in the form of Host stock valued at $2.68 billion based on Host’s $20.53 closing price on Friday, April 07, 2006, and $119 million in cash. Starwood has received approximately $738 million today, $600 million in cash, $77 million in the form of property level debt which Host has assumed and $61 million in Host stock. The remaining proceeds relate to seven hotels in Europe and Asia, where the closing has been deferred as a result of certain notice periods and consents that have not yet lapsed or been received. These proceeds will be received by Starwood in the form of $661 million in cash and $31 million in the form of property level debt which Host will assume when those sales are closed. As provided for in the merger agreement, Starwood previously elected to remove 3 Canadian hotels from the original portfolio and reduced the cash portion of the transaction by approximately $276 million, because Starwood was unable to receive a favorable tax ruling.
“We are very pleased that we have completed the sale of these hotels to Host at an attractive price and were able to return 66% of the proceeds directly back to our shareholders,” said Steven J. Heyer, Starwood Chief Executive Officer. “We have entered into great, long-term management contracts on these hotels with an excellent partner. This transaction represents a major milestone as we evolve our business to balance asset ownership with our fee based business, while continuing to drive growth in our vacation ownership business. We have created a higher growth, more capital efficient and less cyclical business with tremendous balance sheet flexibility to fund growth and return additional value to our shareholders.”