Carlson is exploring strategic alternatives for its hotel
business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the
process. Options include a merger, sale or partnership, the newspaper said.
The hotel division is operated by Carlson Rezidor Hotel
Group, a partnership between Carlson and Rezidor Hotel Group. The partners
oversee the Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Country Inns & Suites,
Park Inn, Park Plaza and Quorvus Collection brands. The Carlson Rezidor
portfolio includes more than 1,100 hotels.
Closely held Carlson has hired Morgan Stanley to explore
strategic alternatives. Carlson declined
to comment when contacted by Travel Weekly.
Carlson, which also owns the Carlson Wagonlit Travel corporate
travel agency, has been in the hotel industry since 1960, when it acquired a 50%
stake in the Radisson hotel in downtown Minneapolis (the first Radisson ever
built, in 1909). That hotel is now a Radisson Blu.
Carlson and Rezidor's predecessor company, SAS
International Hotels, formed a partnership in 1986. In 1994, SAS International
Hotels inked a deal to operate Radisson-branded hotels in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa. SAS was renamed Rezidor Hotel Group in 2002.
Carlson started investing in Rezidor in 2005, when it
acquired a 25% stake in the company. Carlson increased its Rezidor ownership to
51% in 2012, and the companies began operating under the Carlson Rezidor Hotel
Carlson was split into travel and hospitality divisions
after last year’s retirement of CEO Trudy Rautio. David Berg is the CEO of
Carlson Hospitality Group, and Douglas Anderson is Carlson Wagonlit Travel's