Will Hilton Buy Starwood?

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Most people reading the headline will laugh and think to themselves, “of course Hilton won’t buy Starwood”, or shudder and say, “I certainly hope not!”. In an email sent to shareholders this morning though, something caught my eye.

It said, “Starwood to Explore Strategic and Financial Alternatives to Increase Shareholder Value”.

I don’t know about you, but reading that I immediately thought, “uh-oh”. Increasing shareholder value in the travel space oftentimes translates to mean cutting back or reducing benefits for members. Seldom is it a cause for celebration with cake, unless you are a shareholder, that is.

Continuing on, I read the full press release

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I noted that it mentioned No option is off the table.

Hilton President & CEO Chris Nassetta commented during an earnings call today, “It would be silly to say we would never participate in M&A (merger & acquisition) activity because you never know what opportunities might present themselves that might make a tremendous amount of sense. We always want to remain open-minded.”

Will Hilton buy Starwood? Unlikely, but there will certainly be many discussions and much more conjecture about Starwood’s announcement. There are interesting shifts going on right now and only time will tell where the pieces will fall once the dust settles.

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