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Starwood Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Le Meridien Global Portfolio

At the Annual New York University Hospitality Investment Conference, Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced a significant investment by both the company and its ownership groups of nearly $3 billion in existing and new properties since the company acquired the Paris-born hotel brand in late 2005. With a robust pipeline of new hotels planned over the next 12 months, Le Méridien also announced that its owners will invest another $1 billion in an effort to solidify its world-class portfolio.

"Over the past seven years, Starwood has made significant investments in developing Le Méridien as a contemporary lifestyle brand with a truly distinct point of view, and with the tremendous support of our ownership groups, we have also transformed the portfolio into its most competitive position to date

," said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. "Le Méridien has soared under Starwood, and we are proud of the robust pipeline and healthy performance levels of our hotels around the world." Since being acquired in 2005 by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Le Méridien has undergone a full brand transformation, including a comprehensive portfolio review as well as the re-development of its brand strategy, marketing approach and hotel service standards. Le Meridien has also removed more than 40 hotels and resorts from the original portfolio, while another 25 hotels have undergone renovations to make up the best portfolio in the brand's history.Le Méridien has had more new hotel deals signed in the past year than in the previous four years combined. Earlier this year, Le Méridien Hotels announced a significant growth pipeline of 10 new hotels and resorts expected to open by early 2014, including properties in Cairo, Chicago, Yixing (China), Zhengzhou (China), and Mahabaleshwar (India). Additionally, as the Middle East and Africa region continues to evolve as an international business and leisure travel hub, Le Méridien brand this past March announced an investment totaling more than $200 million for the renovations of 12 hotels in the region.Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand is currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries. With more than 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood's then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase.

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