Marriott International, Inc. (MAR/NYSE) announced today that it has received a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service regarding the planned spinoff of its lodging, senior living services, and distribution services businesses. The company to be spun off will adopt the name “Marriott International, Inc.” The ruling confirms that the spinoff will be tax-free to the company and its stockholders. As announced on October 1, 1997, the company entered into a definitive agreement to merge its North American food service and facilities management business (Marriott Management Services) with the North American operations of Sodexho Alliance, S.A. subsequent to the spinoff, with that company to assume the name “Sodexho Marriott Services, Inc.”
Marriott also announced today that it has commenced the solicitation of proxies to approve the spinoff and merger transactions and related matters at a March 17, 1998 special meeting of stockholders. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Westfields Marriott Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The definitive proxy materials are being mailed to stockholders of record as of January 28, 1998. Upon receipt of stockholder approval, Marriott expects to close the spinoff and merger transactions by the end of the first quarter of 1998.