Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has teamed up with Design Hotels to launch a new brand in the coming weeks as speculation mounts over the group’s future.
Speaking at a third-quarter earnings call on October 28, Starwood interim chief executive Adam Aron said the group would unveil its 11th brand in order to “fill a special niche in Starwood’s portfolio, incorporating a handpicked collection of independently owned smaller properties committed to individuality, progressive design and cultural authenticity”.
Aron was also asked about ongoing speculation surrounding a sale of Starwood, which has intensified following the resignation of Frits van Paasschen as chief executive last February.
The Starwood executive refused to comment on press reports in the US that three Chinese investors (Jin Jiang International, China Investment Corporation and HNA) along with Hyatt were said to be interested in a takeover. However, Aron told the conference call that he reckoned Starwood’s future would be resolved by the end of the year.
“It really is not the time for us publicly to dissect the nuances of the processes or where we are in the processes,” Aron was quoted by Hotel News Now as saying. “Our progress and our process is active and nearing conclusion. I’d be surprised if we don’t have answers to these questions by the end of the year.”
The new brand will be Starwood’s second launch this year. Tribute Portfolio brand was unveiled last April, consisting of a collection of independent hotels focused on the four-star segment.