The Real Deal New York

John Paulson now the largest shareholder in Starwood Hotels

Hedge fund's shares worth close to $1B

August 18, 2015 02:26PM

From left: John Paulson and  Adam Aron

From left: John Paulson and Adam Aron

Paulson & Co., the hedge fund controlled by billionaire John Paulson, took a 7 percent stake in the luxury hotel operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, making Paulson the largest shareholder in the company, according to an Securities Exchange Commission filing.

The shares held by Connecticut-based fund were valued at $973 million as of June 30, the day of the filing.

Starwood owns and manages deluxe hotels like the W, the Sheraton and the St. Regis, Bloomberg reported. It sold the Baccarat Hotel to China’s Sunshine Insurance Group for $230 million in February, earning a record $2 million per room. Starwood has lagged competitors Mariott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide Holdings. It hired Lazard Ltd. in April to evaluate strategies for the company, setting the stage for a possible sale.

The hotel group’s long-serving CEO Fritz van Paasschen resigned abruptly in February, a few weeks after the Baccarat deal closed. He was replaced on a interim basis by board member Adam Aron. [Bloomberg] Ariel Stulberg