DALLAS, Oct 3, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Furthering its strategy to become a proprietary-branded hotel operating company, Wyndham International, Inc. (NYSE:WYN) announced today that it has closed the sale of the Ramada Beachwood, Ohio. All net proceeds from the sale will be used to pay down debt. This follows last week`s announcement of a definitive agreement with Westbrook Hotel Partners IV, LLC to sell 13 hotel properties for approximately $447 million, expected to close within three to four months
“This most recent sale is another important step in our strategic plan to sell all non-strategic assets and to lower our leverage. As our plan moves ahead, we are continuing to grow and strengthen the Wyndham brand through management and franchise agreements,” said Fred J. Kleisner, chairman and chief executive officer of Wyndham International.
At the beginning of 1999, Wyndham International identified 152 non-strategic, owned assets. With this sale, the Company will have successfully disposed of 99 of those properties, raising approximately $1.4 billion. In addition, Wyndham International has converted another 16 to the proprietary Wyndham brand, leaving 37 non-strategic assets to sell. Wyndham International is continuing to discuss the sale of the remaining non-strategic assets with Westbrook and other parties.
As previously announced, Wyndham International has eliminated all $287 million in debt maturities coming due during 2002. Wyndham has already begun addressing the subsequent maturities due June 2003 and beyond. The Company`s liquidity remains strong despite the sluggish economy. As announced on Sept. 3, 2002, after payment of all required expenses, including debt service obligations and capital expenditures, the Company has approximately $255 million in excess liquidity.
“Although we are pleased with the progress we have made with non-strategic asset dispositions and with our business plan, we remain frustrated with the trading price of our common stock,” added Kleisner. “During an uncertain economic environment, our Company remains focused on the implementation of our plan.”
Previously, Wyndham International announced that it had received notification from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that the Company`s share trading price has fallen below the continued listing criteria for an average closing price of a security of less than $1.00 over a consecutive 30 trading day period. Wyndham International`s management has met with NYSE representatives. The NYSE`s Listing and Compliance Committee has agreed to continue the listing of the Company`s common stock through Nov. 15, 2002, subject to certain conditions. At that time, the Exchange Committee will reevaluate the Company`s listing status.
The Company stated in its June 2002 Proxy that it had filed a listing application with the American Stock Exchange to provide an alternative in the event that the NYSE continued listing criteria is not met. The Company will continue to evaluate all available alternatives in the best interest of its shareholders.
Wyndham International offers upscale and luxury hotel and resort accommodations through proprietary lodging brands and a management services division. Based in Dallas, Wyndham International owns, leases, manages and franchises hotels and resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. For more information, visit www.wyndham.com. For reservations, call 800-Wyndham.