Starwood buys Le Meridien

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Le Meridien brand and the related franchises and management contracts.

It has paid about US$225 million (9 billion baht) for control of the 130 hotels and resorts worldwide – including Le Meridien’s two properties in Phuket, one in Khao Lak and one on Koh Samui.

“The acquisition of the Le Meridien brand is an exciting and significant development for Starwood that we believe further defines us as a truly global hotel operator,” said Steven Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

“We love the Le Meridien brand which is why we have pursued it over the past couple of years – we see great potential. [It] is a perfect complement to the Starwood portfolio.

“Le Meridien 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 [roots], is what made it such an attractive proposition for us,” added Mr Heyer.

Starwood will continue to use the Le Meridien name on the 130 properties. Other Starwood brands include Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, W Hotels, St Regis, and The Luxury Collection.

Before acquiring Le Meridien, Starwood already owned, managed or had franchises on 752 hotels and resorts worldwide, including 94 in the Asia-Pacific region. These 752 properties contain a total of 236,000 guest rooms.

In corporate terms, Le Meridien has been the orphan of the hotel world for the past 10 years, having had no fewer than five owners. The group was originally a subsidiary of Air France, and then passed to hotel group Forte which was in turn bought by larger hotel group Granada and sold to Compass Hotels, then Japanese financial giant Nomura and finally US investment house Lehman Bros.

Phuket News
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