Hotel chain Marriott to split business

Associated Press / February 15, 2011

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Marriott International Inc. is splitting into two publicly traded companies.

The company said as it reported on its earnings yesterday that it will spin off its timeshare development and management company later this year. The remaining business will concentrate on its lodging management and franchising business.

Marriott said the move will help both companies focus on opportunities in their respective industries. It also helps the hotel chain shed the less-profitable timeshare business. Marriott will continue to receive franchise fees from the timeshare company’s use of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands.

The company said day-to-day operations should not be affected by the transaction, it does not expect the decision to result in any job cuts.

The Marriott family will hold a roughly 21 percent stake in each company. Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott’s timeshare business since 1997, will become chief executive of the new company. William J. Shaw, who recently announced his retirement as vice chairman of Marriott International and resigned from its board, will be chairman of the new timeshare company’s board.

The company reported a 63 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net income to $173 million, up from $106 million a year earlier.