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NEW YORK CITY-Cendant Corp. has closed on its previously announced $100-million, all-cash acquisition of the Wyndham hotel brand and franchise system from Wyndham International, an affiliate of locally based Blackstone Group. Cendant acquired franchise agreements for 82 hotels and management contracts for 29 hotels. The acquisition also includes the worldwide rights to the Wyndham brand for timeshare development and sales, however the firm is not acquiring any properties as part of the transaction.

The newly renamed Wyndham Worldwide will operate as a distinct entity within Cendant Hotel Group. A management team will focus on the brand, its managed hotels as well as franchise development. A company spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com that the firm “will be announcing staff appointments in the coming days.” Wyndham Worldwide’s corporate offices will be based in Parsippany, NJ.

Steven A. Rudnitsky, Cendant Hotel Group chairman and chief executive officer, says accelerated expansion and enhanced performance will be keystones of the Wyndham strategic plan, he said. “We will seek to aggressively expand Wyndham distribution, both domestically and internationally.”

Cendant Hotel Group will now transition from a pure franchisor into a diversified management and franchise company for the first time in its 15-year history. The transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to Cendant’s earnings per share and free cash flow in 2005.

In August,, Wyndham International Inc. and Blackstone closed on a $3.24-billion merger. Last year, Cendant acquired Ramada International Hotels & Resorts by Marriott International, a franchised brand of 204 open hotels with a total of more than 27,700 rooms.

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