About Le Meridien
With more than 100 Hotels & Resorts worldwide and the strongest, most globally diverse portfolio in its history, the Paris-born Le Méridien brand connects the curious and creative-minded traveller to unexpected and engaging experiences within their destination. With its brand promise of “Destination Unlocked,” Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points through global partnerships with creative minds such as illy, Johnny Iuzzini, Gray Malin, and Nouvelle Vague. Plans call for dynamic portfolio expansion within the next five years in some of the world’s most exciting destinations, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.
The internationally renowned Le Méridien brand was established in 1972 by Air France "to provide a home away from home for its customers." The first Le Méridien property was a 1,000-room hotel in Paris — Le Méridien Etoile. Within two years of operation the group had 10 hotels in Europe and Africa. Within the first six years the number of hotels had risen to 21 hotels in Europe, Africa, the French West Indies, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Mauritius. The group continued to grow and, by 1991, the total number of Le Méridien properties had risen to 58.
In late 1994, Le Méridien was acquired by UK hotel giant, Forte, which in turn was acquired by Granada Group plc in 1996. Through a merger in the summer of 2000 between Forte's parent company, Granada Group plc, and global contract catering giant, Compass Group plc — and the subsequent de-merger of the two companies in February 2001 — the ownership of the Forte Hotel Group and its three brands (Le Méridien, Heritage Hotels and Posthouse Hotels) passed solely to Compass Group.
In May 2001, Nomura International plc announced the acquisition of Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts from Compass Group plc for £1.9 billion and Le Méridien was merged with Principal Hotels, which was acquired in February 2001. In December 2003, Lehman Brothers Holdings acquired the senior debt of Le Méridien.
In November 2005, the Le Méridien brand and management fee business was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. The leased and owned real estate assets were acquired in a separate deal by a joint venture formed by Lehman Brothers and Starwood Capital (a company not affiliated with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.).
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