Marriott and the Spanish Hotel Group AC Hotels Sign
to Manage and Franchise a New Lodging Co-brand Across
Europe and Latin America -- AC by Marriott
MADRID and BETHESDA, Md., October 7, 2010 - The Spanish hotel group
AC Hotels, chaired by Antonio Catalan, and Marriott International, Inc.
(NYSE: MAR), chaired by J.W. Marriott, Jr., have reached a preliminary
agreement to form a joint venture that will manage and franchise a new
lodging co-brand across Europe and Latin America -- “AC by Marriott."
The new co-brand will combine the strengths of AC Hotels and Marriott
International. “AC by Marriott” will incorporate the concept and
business model of AC Hotels’ urban-style four-star hotel product, characterized
by a unique blend of quality, comfort, design and technology, with Marriott
International’s global systems, distribution, and sales platforms, particularly
Marriott Rewards, one of the world’s largest hospitality loyalty programs
with 33 million members. The combination will permit Marriott’s customers
access under the Marriott Rewards program to a portfolio of Spain’s leading
business and urban-leisure hotels, enable AC’s guests to earn Marriott
Rewards points for travel at Marriott branded hotels around the world,
and provide both companies with a platform for future growth.
“AC by Marriott” will focus on becoming a market leader in Europe and
Latin America in the urban, four-star hotel category. At the launch
of the joint venture, more than ninety (90) existing AC hotels in Spain,
Italy and Portugal are expected to be re-branded “AC by Marriott” and enter
into long term management or franchise agreements with the joint venture.
The hotels will continue to be owned by affiliates of AC Hotels and other
Future hotels would be added to the portfolio under both management
contracts and franchise agreements. The joint venture will be led by Antonio
Catalan and his current team from AC Hotels headquarters in Madrid, with
support on key functions from Marriott’s team in Europe, headed by Marriott’s
European President Amy McPherson.
Formation of the joint venture is subject to negotiation of definitive
transaction documents and customary closing conditions for transactions
of this type, including obtaining any necessary consent. The parties
anticipate closing in calendar year 2010, with the new AC by Marriott brand
to launch in 2011.
Deloitte Corporate Finance in Madrid is acting as the lead financial
advisor to both parties in this transaction.
About AC Hotels
Founded in 1998 by Antonio Catalan, AC Hotels currently has a portfolio
of over 90 owned, leased or managed hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal,
encompassing approximately 9,500 rooms and 2,800 employees. Among
other accolades, the chain was awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award
for Business Excellence by Grand Hotels as the best national hotel company
in 2009, and chosen by the publication Expansion as the best Spanish hotel
company to work for. For more information or reservations, please visit
our website at www.ac-hotels.com.
About Marriott International
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company
with more than 3,500 lodging properties in 70 countries and territories.
Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under
the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, The Autograph Collection,
Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn,
SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation
ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination
Club, and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; licenses and manages whole-ownership
residential brands, including The Ritz-Carlton Residences, JW Marriott
Residences and Marriott Residences; operates Marriott Executive Apartments;
provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division;
and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda,
Maryland, USA, and had approximately 137,000 employees at 2009 year-end.
It is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the best companies to work for,
and by Newsweek as one of the greenest big companies in America. In fiscal
year 2009, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations
of nearly $11 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit
our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visitwww.marriottnewscenter.com.
Note: This press release contains “forward-looking
statements” within the meaning of United States federal securities laws,
including statements about the expected timing for closing, the joint venture’s
future operations, , the size of the future AC by Marriott hotel portfolio,
and similar references to anticipated future events or expectations that
are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are
not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks
and uncertainties, including the ability of the parties to finalize definitive
transaction documents, any changes to the joint venture that may be reflected
in the definitive documents, or delay in or failure to obtain any necessary
consent; any which could delay or prevent formation of the joint venture
or cause “AC by Marriott” to operate differently than as described in this
press release. These statements are made as of October 7, 2010, and
the parties undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.