John Paulson now the largest shareholder in Starwood Hotels

Hedge fund's shares worth close to $1B

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.

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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