Cendant completes previously announced Wyndham acquisition


NEW YORK (Cendant) - Cendant Corporation today announced it has completed the acquisition of the management and franchise business of the Dallas-based Wyndham® hotel chain from an affiliate of The Blackstone Group for $101 million in cash. 

The acquisition includes 82 franchise agreements, 27 management contracts and the worldwide rights to the Wyndham brand for hotel and timeshare development.

As previously announced, Cendant is not acquiring any properties as part of this transaction, which is expected to be modestly accretive to Cendant's earnings per share and free cash flow in 2005.

The newly renamed Wyndham Worldwide will operate as a distinct entity within Cendant Hotel Group under a dedicated management team that will be focused on three key areas: the brand, its managed hotels and franchise development. Aside from retaining certain functions in Dallas, Wyndham Worldwide's corporate offices will be based in Parsippany, N.J.

Steven A. Rudnitsky, Cendant Hotel Group chairman and chief executive officer, said the acquisition of the company's first upscale hotel brand allows Cendant to pursue "unprecedented cross-selling opportunities and marketing synergies with our timeshare and other travel businesses."

Accelerated expansion and enhanced performance will be keystones of the Wyndham strategic plan, he said. "We will work with our operators to optimize the return on their assets. Concurrently we will seek to aggressively expand Wyndham distribution, both domestically and internationally."

Franz Hanning, president and chief executive officer of Cendant Timeshare Resort Group--the world's largest owner and operator of vacation ownership companies--noted the importance of acquiring Wyndham timeshare development rights along with Cendant's hotel business. "The Wyndham timeshare rights represent a significant element in the future of our timeshare business," he said.

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