Starwood exploring strategic options

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Starwood's hotel brands, which include Westin, could be on the move via merger or company sale.
Starwood's hotel brands, which include Westin, could be on the move via merger or company sale. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Starwood Hotels & Resorts said on Wednesday that its board will “explore a full range of strategic and financial alternatives to increase shareholder value.”

The company has retained financial advisory firm Lazard to assist in the process.

“Our board has always been focused on maximizing long-term shareholder value, and this is a time of enormous opportunity and change in our industry,” Starwood Chairman Bruce Duncan said in a statement. “Accordingly, we will thoroughly explore the full range of strategic and financial alternatives available to Starwood to capitalize on our industry-leading global platform and best-in-class premium brands.  No option is off the table, and we will take the time we need to thoroughly evaluate our opportunities and achieve the best result for our shareholders, business partners, and associates.” 

In a note to clients, UBS analyst Robin Farley wrote, “We believe Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham are potential buyers that investors will focus on, as well as the potential for combination with IHG. Starwood’s owned hotel properties could make sense with Hilton’s potential to spin owned assets into a REIT (real estate investment trust).”

Starwood’s brands are Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Westin, Element, Aloft, St. Regis, W, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien and Tribute Portfolio.

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