Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Wed April 29 2015

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Exploring Potential Sale, Acquisition

Hotel & Resort | Starwood Hotels and Resorts | Patrick Clarke | April 29, 2015

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Exploring Potential Sale, Acquisition

In the wake of former CEO Frits van Paasschen's departure earlier this year and a decline in first-quarter earnings, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is exploring strategic alternatives that could potentially lead to the company's sale, according to a source close to the situation via the Wall Street Journal.

The company has hired investment bank Lazard to "explore a full range of strategic and financial alternatives to increase shareholder value."

In addition to a sale of the entire company, options could include an acquisition or a sale of select Starwood properties. 

Starwood chairman Bruce Duncan told the WSJ that "no option is off the table, and we will take the time we need to thoroughly evaluate our opportunities and achieve the best result for our shareholders, business partners, and associates."

First-quarter profit fell from $137 million in 2014 to $99 billion this year, dropping from 72 cents per share to 58 cents per share. The company cited restructuring charges as the primary reason for the decline. 

Despite a 2.3 percent increase in international occupancy at Starwood properties, revenue dipped nearly three percent to just over $1.4 billion.

According to, Starwood has recently begun the transition into a "asset-light" strategy, selling $1.5 billion worth of property within the past two years.  

The Stamford, Connecticut-based hospitality company owns and operates well over 1,000 properties under a handful of brands, including Westin, Sheraton and St. Regis, among others. 

Adam Aron is currently serving as the company's interim CEO. 

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