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Starwood Gets Loan Commitments for ITT Purchase

January 21, 1998|From Bloomberg News

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Trust said it received loan commitments of more than $7 billion to pay part of the cost of its $13.7-billion acquisition of ITT.

The two term loans and one line of revolving credit will pay for the cash portion of the ITT acquisition, refinance some of Starwood's and ITT's outstanding debt, pay for other acquisitions and transaction-related expenses and provide working capital.

Bankers Trust New York and Chase Manhattan arranged the loans and each committed $1.85 billion, Starwood said. Seven other banks each committed $500 million: Bank of Montreal, NationsBank, Barclays Capital, Credit Lyonnais, Goldman Sachs Mortgage, Lehman Bros. Holding and Societe Generale.

Starwood also said it received approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission to take over ITT and its casino at a Sheraton hotel in Tunica, Miss. ITT shareholders will vote on the purchase Feb. 18.

The Phoenix-based real estate investment trust also said it completed the $334-million purchase of four luxury hotels from Saudi Arabian Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Ibrahim.

The hotels in New York, Washington, Houston and Aspen, Colo., were under the Ritz-Carlton brand until Ritz removed its name in August. The hotels, now operated by ITT's Sheraton, will be converted to the St. Regis and Westin brands.

Starwood's planned purchase of New York-based ITT was the largest hotel acquisition deal announced in 1997, a record year for lodging industry takeovers. The deal would make Starwood the world's largest hotel operator.

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