Starwood plans to spin off its timeshare business

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2015 7:46 AM

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Starwood Hotels is spinning off its 22 timeshare resorts into a separate and publicly traded company.

That business, Starwood Vacation Ownership, had revenue of about $640 million last year. It has sold more than $6 billion worth of timeshares to more than 220,000 buyers over the past 30 years.

Starwood said Tuesday that the new company will establish long-term license agreements to maintain the company's affiliations with Westin and Sheraton.

Starwood will transfer additional assets at Westin Los Cabos, Westin Cancun, Westin Puerto Vallarta, Sheraton Kauai and Sheraton Steamboat to the new company for timeshare development.

The company, which has yet to be named officially, will maintain its headquarters in Orlando, Florida. Matthew Avril, 54, who retired as president of Starwood's hotel group in 2012, will become CEO.

The spinoff is expected to be completed by year's end.

Starwood also reported its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, posting an adjusted profit of 97 cents per share on revenue of $1.49 billion. Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected a profit of 77 cents per share on revenue of $1.52 billion.

The company anticipates first-quarter earnings of between 53 and 57 cents per share. It foresees 2015 earnings in a range of $2.87 to $2.97 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been projecting first-quarter earnings of 63 cents per share and full-year earnings of $3.11 per share.

Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, jumped nearly 7 percent before the opening bell.