ILG shareholders approve Marriott Vacations merger

The former Strand Hotel in New York City. Photo credit: Marriott International (If the deal goes through, the $4.7-billion merger will create the world’s largest timeshare operator.)

Shareholders at Interval Leisure Group approved an offer to buy out Marriott Vacations. If the deal goes through, the $4.7-billion merger will create the world’s largest timeshare operator.

The vote swung in favor of the merger by a landslide, with 97.9 million votes for and only 112,943 votes against. These votes were collected from holders of 99 percent of ILG’s shares. In recent days, ILG stakeholders have pressured the company to merge with a rival such as Marriott, with FrontFour Capital, a 2-percent stakeholder in ILG, threatening to “review its options” for future business with ILG should the company walk away from a deal with Marriott.

Marriott already is preparing for the acquisition. The company is planning to pay for the cash portion of the acquisition through a $50-million senior note offering, as well as drawing from a $900-million credit facility.

“The strong endorsement of our stockholders reaffirms our belief that this combination provides them with immediate and compelling cash value and the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the long-term growth potential of the combined company,” Craig Nash, president and CEO of ILG, said in a statement.

Once the merger is finalized, the combined companies will report revenue of approximately $3 billion, and its portfolio will consist of 108 properties under brands such as Westin, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Hyatt and Sheraton. Included in its assets is New York’s Strand Hotel, which Marriott acquired last November for $158.5 million.