Marriott seeks to fully takeover Design Hotels

Squeeze-out does not include changes to senior leadership

Marriott is poised to take full ownership of Design Hotels, a Berlin-based representative group that provides marketing and digital distribution to over 300 luxury and boutique independent hotels in 60 countries.

Design Hotels has branches in Los Angeles, New York and Singapore.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts purchased a 49.8% stake in the German-based company in January 2012 before adding the portfolio to its own stable in late 2015. That share increased to 74% before Marriott took over Starwood in 2016, and since then Marriott has upped its ownership of Design Hotels to 95%.

Around one-third of Design Hotels are members of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program.

Last week, Design Hotels advised that Marriott DH Holding had sought to transfer the remaining 5% of shares and cash compensation for EUR4 per share as part of the merger squeeze-out.

Under German law, a company owning 90% or more of an entity is able to initiate a process to purchase the remaining shares.

“As the merger squeeze-out is a corporate organisational development and we do not plan changes to the way we operate the business, there is no impact to the senior leadership team,” a Design Hotels spokesperson said.

“Our 330-plus members will remain part of our global and unrivalled community of independent, design-driven hotels that function as social hubs and spaces for purposeful experiences. Having Marriott International as the future sole owner, Design Hotels members can expect additional benefits and opportunities to obtain a greater and more selective reach and to take advantage of new programs and practices in size and scale.”

Design Hotels’ management board said the merger agreement is envisaged to occur on 29 October 2020 and the squeeze-out resolution is planned to take place on 17 December, subject to consent.

If approved the arrangement would see Design Hotels become a wholly-owned brand of Marriott.

Images: Design Hotels’ newest member, Proper Austin

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