LONDON, March 14 (UPI) -- Top British hospitality company Whitbread PLC said it expected to raise nearly $2 billion from its sale of Marriott UK hotels, Sky News reported Monday.
The sale follows recommendations offered last October in a strategic review, and will allow the company to focus on its Premier Travel Inn budget hotels, David Lloyd health clubs and restaurant chains, Sky News said.
Whitbread is to create a joint venture with the U.S. division of the company, Marriott International, to hold the hotels until they are sold. Marriott International will receive an initial payment of $1.36 billion on the 50-50 venture.
Shareholders also will receive $765 million through a special dividend of $2.58 per share, Sky News said.