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Wyndham Worldwide to split hotel biz into 2 stand-alone companies

Wyndham Worldwide Corp. plans to split its hotel business into two separate, publicly traded companies and explore strategic options for its European rental brands.

The Parsippany, N.J.-based Wyndham Hotel Group will become a new pure-play hotel company, while the Orlando, Fla.-headquartered Wyndham Vacation Ownership will be a timeshare company that will be combined with the Wyndham Destination Network, which houses RCI.

The proposed spinoff will be effected through a pro rata distribution of the new hotel company's stock to existing Wyndham Worldwide shareholders. The transaction, set to be finalized in the first half of 2018, would be tax-free to Wyndham Worldwide and its shareholders.

The company's board determined that the planned spinoff, which followed a comprehensive review process, is "the best structure to unlock shareholder value and enable strong growth across the businesses," Wyndham Worldwide Chairman and CEO Stephen Holmes said in a release.

After the split, the vacation ownership company and the hotel company will have separate boards, with Holmes serving as nonexecutive board chairman for both entities.

SNL ImageWyndham Boston Beacon Hill
Source: Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

Former Avis Budget Group President and CFO David Wyshner will become Wyndham Worldwide CFO and will become CFO of the hotel company after the spinoff. Wyndham Vacation Ownership Executive Vice President and CFO Michael Hug will serve as CFO of the timeshare company.

Wyndham Hotel Group's current CEO Geoff Ballotti will continue to head the hotel company as president and CEO, while Wyndham Vacation Ownership's current CEO Michael Brown will continue to lead the timeshare company as president and CEO. Wyndham Destination Network CEO Gail Mandel will still head the business through this transition, and Wyndham Worldwide CFO Tom Conforti will move into an advisory role, working with the company through the spinoff process.

The two public companies plan to retain their affiliation with Wyndham Rewards through long-term exclusive license agreements.

Wyndham Worldwide said it has yet to decide on the corporate names of the post-spin public companies.