Hotel Online  Special Report

Cendant Moves to Acquire Ramada International
Brand from Marriott International


PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Sept. 15, 2004) – Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group and Marriott International Inc. today announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent for Cendant to purchase Ramada International Hotels & Resorts, primarily a franchised brand of 204 hotels representing 27,728 rooms in 26 countries and territories.

Pending approval by regulatory authorities and final negotiation of terms, the signing of a sales agreement and closing on the deal are expected to occur in the next few months.  Financial terms and transition plans were not disclosed.  Both Cendant Corporation and Marriott International do not expect that the financial impact of the transaction will be material.

This transaction would complete the acquisition of all worldwide trademark rights for the Ramada brand by Cendant’s Hotel Group Inc., which earlier this year acquired the trademark rights for the United States, where it franchises 819 Ramada properties representing 94,128 rooms.  Cendant Hotel Group also currently licenses Ramada rights in Canada, where it franchises 71 properties representing 7,571 rooms.

Ramada International Hotels & Resorts primarily franchises hotels under the Ramada Plaza, Ramada Hotels, Ramada Resorts and Ramada Encore brands in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Mexico and South America. 

Steven A. Rudnitsky, Cendant Hotel Group chairman and chief executive officer, said the transaction would “unite the Ramada brand as a worldwide entity under a single company and further demonstrate Cendant Hotel Group’s commitment to the brand,” which he said is about to undergo a major upgrading and repositioning throughout the United States and Canada.

“When completed, this purchase of Ramada International will extend our control of the brand throughout the world and integrate two systems currently led separately by Cendant and Marriott,” he said.  “Both domestic and international franchisees would benefit from sharing of best practices while retaining the unique cultural approaches to doing business in each respective country.”

Marriott acquired the rights to Ramada through a larger acquisition in 1997.  Following the acquisition, Marriott continued to license the Ramada name in the United States to Cendant Hotel Group under existing long-term agreements.  In March 2002, the two companies formed a joint venture called Two Flags that licensed the trademarks for Ramada and Days Inn in the United States.  Cendant Hotel Group exercised its option to redeem Marriott’s interest in the Two Flags joint venture in April.

With approximately 90,000 employees, New York City-based Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD) is primarily a provider of travel and residential real estate services to businesses and consumers in more than 100 countries.  Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group, based in Parsippany, N.J., is the world’s largest lodging franchisor with 6,349 hotels representing 509,932 rooms on five continents under the Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Travelodge®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Villager, Wingate Inn® and AmeriHost Inn® brands.  All hotels are individually owned and operated under franchise agreements with Cendant subsidiaries.

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading worldwide hospitality company with nearly 2,800 lodging properties under 18 brands in the United States and 69 other countries and territories. 

Rich Roberts 
Vice President, Communications 
Cendant Corporation, Hotel Group 
(973) 496-0750

Tom Marder 
Vice President Corporate Relations
Marriott International Inc.
 (301) 380-2553

Also See: Cendant’s Hotel Group to Merge Villager and Knights Inn Brands; Offers Villager Franchisees a $5,000 Conversion Allowance / July 2004
Anthony Berger Named Chief Operating Officer Cendant's Hotel Group; Other Appointments Made to Improve Franchisee and Company Value / April 2004

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