US real estate company Host Marriott has agreed to buy 38 luxury and upscale hotels from Starwood Hotels and Resorts for around $4.04b (£2.3b).
Starwood will continue to manage the 38 properties under a 40-year agreement.
As part of the transaction, Host will assume debts worth $700m (£404m) and issue shares to the value of $2.3b (£1.3b) to Starwood stakeholders.
The portfolio covers 25 US properties and 13 overseas hotels with nearly 19,000 bedrooms under the Westin, Sheraton, W, Luxury Collection and St Regis brands.
The European line-up of six hotels includes the Sheraton Skyline Hotel and Conference Centre in Hayes, UK, and hotels in Rome, Milan, Madrid, Venice and Warsaw.
The 38 hotels are expected to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $117m (£67m) in 2005.
The takeover will bump up Host's portfolio to 145 hotels under 17 brand names in nine countries.
The sale forms part of Starwood's plan to sell several billion dollars-worth of assets over the next 12 months.
By Angela Frewin
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