Starwood Hotels & Resorts has acquired the Le Méridien brand for approximately $225 million.
The acquisition will significantly increase the company’s presence in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The acquisition supports Starwood’s strategic shift from its significant real estate ownership to a management and franchise fee focused model.
Steven J. Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts commented: “Le Méridien hotels are located in many markets where we don’t already have a strong presence. This coupled with the brand’s excellent reputation and
its strong European DNA, is what made it such an attractive proposition for us.
“In addition, we have great plans to expand the brand - particularly in the United States, Latin America and Asia-Pacific - to enhance the brand itself, and build on its great reputation and people. It provides us with another growth engine for our development team bringing the current hotel brand portfolio to eight, including our recently announced aloft.”
Starwood will continue to operate the Le Méridien flag.
Le Méridien recently opened Le Méridien She Shan Shanghaiand has 10 planned hotel openings in 2006, in destinations such as India, Thailand and China.
Heyer has predicted a “smooth and speedy” transition
Period which will be led by Michael Wale, Senior Vice President
Le Méridien Operations.