MADRID and BETHESDA, Maryland, January 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Today the Spanish hotel group AC Hotels and Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) formally announced their joint venture to manage and franchise a new lodging co-brand across Europe and Latin America - "AC Hotels by Marriott."
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110120/PH32819LOGO )
At launch, over 90 existing AC Hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal will be re-branded as AC Hotels by Marriott and enter into long term management or franchise agreements with the joint venture.
Antonio Catalan, chairman and founder of AC Hotels said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with Marriott. The new AC Hotels by Marriott co-brand combines the strengths of both AC Hotels and Marriott International--AC Hotels' exceptional product and expertise and the power of Marriott's engines, global footprint and the power of its development organization. We see tremendous growth potential for AC Hotels by Marriott and will be aggressively pursuing development opportunities throughout Europe and Latin America."
Amy McPherson, president and managing director of Marriott International in Europe, said, "Marriott could not ask for a better partner than the AC Hotels team. Antonio Catalan is an experienced, dynamic partner who understands this market and delivers an exceptional product, perfectly suited for the European lifestyle. We are thrilled with this opportunity to dramatically grow our presence in Spain, the 4th largest source market in Europe, and deliver a great new lifestyle product to our global customer."
The 9,100-room AC Hotels by Marriott venture is a significant driver of Marriott's European growth strategy. At launch, it will represent almost a quarter of the progress toward the company's goal of doubling its portfolio in Europe over five years to 80,000 rooms.
"AC Hotels by Marriott" will incorporate the concept and business model of AC Hotels' urban lifestyle hotel product, characterized by a unique blend of quality, comfort, design and technology, with Marriott International's global systems, distribution, and sales platforms, particularly Marriott Rewards, one of the world's largest hospitality loyalty programs with 33 million members. The combination will permit Marriott's customers access under the Marriott Rewards program to a portfolio of Spain's leading business and urban-leisure hotels, enable AC's guests to earn Marriott Rewards points for travel at Marriott branded hotels around the world, and provide both companies with a platform for future growth.
The partners anticipate that the venture will close in the first quarter of 2011, after receipt of necessary consents and other remaining conditions have been satisfied. Starting May 2011, they expect that all AC Hotels by Marriott hotels will be bookable on Marriott.com. Marriott.com is the lodging industry's most comprehensive website and the 7th largest online consumer retail site in the world.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at http://www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit http://www.marriottnewscenter.com.
About AC Hotels
Founded in 1998 by Antonio Catalan, AC Hotels currently has a portfolio of over 90 hotels in ownership, leasing or management, in Spain, Italy and Portugal, encompassing more than 9,500 rooms and approximately 2800 employees. Among other accolades, the chain has been awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award for Business Excellence, Gran Hotel named it the best national hotel company in 2009 and has been chosen by the main business newspaper Expansion as the best Spanish hotel company to work. For more information please http://www.ac-hotels.com
Note: This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of United States federal securities laws, including statements about the expected timing for closing and the availability of booking on Marriott.com, the joint venture's future operations, the size and geographic distribution of the future AC Hotels by Marriott hotel portfolio, and similar references to anticipated future events or expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the ability of the parties to finalize definitive transaction documents, or any delay in or failure to obtain any necessary consent; any which could delay or prevent formation of the joint venture or cause "AC Hotels by Marriott" to operate differently than as described in this press release. These statements are made as of January 20, 2011, and the parties undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.