Marriott to Spin Off Timeshare Operations as an Independent Company

Marriott International, Inc. has announced a plan to split the company’s businesses into two separate, publicly traded companies. Marriott International expects to spin off its timeshare operations and development business as a new independent company through a special tax-free dividend to Marriott International shareholders in late 2011.

Under the plan, the new company will focus on the timeshare business as the exclusive developer and operator of timeshare, fractional and related products under the Marriott brand and the exclusive developer of fractional and related products under the Ritz-Carlton brand. After the split, Marriott International will concentrate on the lodging management and franchise business. Marriott will also receive franchise fees from the timeshare company’s use of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands.

Marriott International chairman and chief executive officer, J.W. Marriott, Jr., said, “Marriott took a bold step when we introduced our Marriott brand to the timeshare industry in 1984. In this transaction, we take another innovative step forward as we combine the power of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands with the flexibility and focus of a new independent timeshare company.

Marriott Vacation Club owners and guests and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club members should see no change in the branding or quality of their properties, services, usage options, use of Marriott Rewards points, or access to Marriott International’s hotels," continued Marriott.

"The companies will continue to work together to provide outstanding vacation experiences, similar to the relationship between Marriott International and the franchisees of its hotel properties. After the split, both companies will remain dedicated to the highest standards of quality and value and the brand promise for which Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are well known and widely respected. Day-to-day operations at both companies should not be affected by this transaction."

As two separate public companies, both Marriott International and the new company will have separate boards of directors. J.W. Marriott, Jr. will remain chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Marriott International. Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott’s timeshare business since 1997 and a 39-year Marriott veteran, will become chief executive officer of the new company.

“Our new company will be independent and the largest pure-play timeshare firm in the world," said Weisz. "We believe our outstanding brands, unparalleled operating skill, prime resort locations and world-class sales expertise will continue to provide us with a significant competitive advantage.

“With the launch of the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations timeshare program, our points-based product, in 2010, we are confident in our ability to fulfill the dreams and meet the growing expectations of our customers."
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