Hotel Online  Special Report



 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Take Control of British Hotel Group Le Meridien
for Less than US$1.3 billion


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y - Dec. 30, 2003 -- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT - News) announced today the acquisition of all of the outstanding senior debt (approximately $1.3 billion), at a discount, of Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts Ltd. Starwood will fund $200 million through a high yield junior participation in the debt. As part of this funding, Lehman and Starwood have entered into an exclusive agreement to negotiate the recapitalization of Le Meridien in the coming months. The Le Meridien portfolio includes more than 120 upscale hotels and resorts with significant concentration in major European cities and resort destinations. For Starwood, the Le Meridien asset and customer base are largely complementary to Starwood's own. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.

Lehman Brothers (ticker symbol NYSE:LEH), an innovator in global finance, serves the financial needs of corporations, governments and municipalities, institutional clients, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. 


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Allison Reid
Also See: Financier Guy Hands Seeking to Work Out Rescue Package for His Debt-laden Le Meridien Hotels Group / May 2003
Brit Millionaire, Guy Hands, Launching Boutique Hotel Chain - Hand Picked Hotels / October 2003
Meridien Wins Bank Reprieve; Nomura Plans to Sell Off the Properties and Turn the Business Into a Pure Hotel Management Operation / May 2002

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