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HOLIDAY INN WORLDWIDE -- A BASS COMPANY

 HOLIDAY INN WORLDWIDE -- A BASS COMPANY
 NEW YORK, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In the early 1950s, an


American entrepreneur named Kemmons Wilson, distressed by the poor standards of hotels he stayed in during a motoring holiday, decided to start his own hotel business. He opened the first Holiday Inn in Memphis, Tenn., in 1952.
 From the outset, his company was committed to offering its customers high and consistent standards. The maintenance of these standards, and attention to quality control and customer service, have made Holiday Inn one of the best known hotel brands in the world.
 By the end of the 1950s, there were 100 Holiday Inn hotels in the United States. Today there are more than 1,600 Holiday Inn hotels in 52 countries on six continents, with a total of more than 326,000 rooms.
 Bass' Hotel Experience
 Bass has more than 20 years of experience in running hotels successfully, having developed first the Crest chain following the merger in 1967 between Bass Mitchells and Butlers Ltd. and Charrington United Breweries pub-hotels. Put together, these formed the basis of a hotel division within Bass, soon to be formed into a separate operating company and expanded dramatically by the purchase of European Esso hotels, and, later, Clingendael hotels in The Netherlands.
 Throughout the '70s and '80s, the Crest chain grew by acquisition and new start-ups. The traditional style of pub-hotels, with which Crest had started out but had long since handed back to the management of the brewery operating companies, had given way to a chain of modern, stylish, quality hotels in the upper three- and four-star category, enjoying a well-deserved reputation for being the best managed hotel chain in its sector. In this respect, both Crest and Holiday Inn shared a similar philosophy -- the highest standards of quality and service at fair prices. In other words, top value for money.
 For some years, certainly since the early 1980s, Bass had made no secret of its ambitions to become a global hotel operator. As successful as Crest had become, it was scarcely known outside the U.K. and Europe -- small by global standards and not a practical launching pad for a hotel chain on a worldwide scale. The answer had to be an established hotel brand with international status. Not surprisingly, all such established brands were U.S.-based. Bass looked at this market, examined a number of options and considered several opportunities.
 Bass as a Franchisee
 In May 1987, Bass purchased from Holiday Corporation four Holiday Inn hotels in the U.K. -- in Birmingham, Leicester, Heathrow and Mayfair -- with an agreement to purchase an additional four in Europe, all operating within the Holiday Inn franchise system. Bass thus owned the properties of these hotels but had the additional benefit of being under the Holiday Inn umbrella with an opportunity to learn about the franchise business.
 Later that year, in September 1987, Bass entered into an agreement with Holiday Corporation to purchase the international assets of Holiday Inn (outside of the U.S., Canada and Mexico), comprising 178 hotels, including 13 in the United States, with a total of nearly 44,000 rooms. At the same time, Bass and Holiday Corporation entered into a joint venture agreement to cooperate in developing the Holiday Inn brand worldwide. Commenting on the deal at the time, Bass Chairman Ian Prosser said, "These arrangements enable Bass to join the select band of major international hotel companies and enjoy a brand name with worldwide recognition."
 North American Acquisition
 The final opportunity for Bass to realize its long-term ambitions to be a major worldwide player in the hotel business came in August 1989 when Bass and Holiday Corporation signed a conditional agreement for Bass to purchase the Holiday Inn hotels business in North America. The agreement was subject to approval by the shareholders of both parties. That approval was forthcoming in January 1990. The completion of the acquisition by Bass was effected on Feb. 7, 1990. Bass thus became the owner of the largest hotel chain in the world, accounting for 10 percent of total hotel rooms in the U.S., with more than 25 percent of rooms in the U.S. mid-scale sector. Currently, there are 1,471 hotels operating in the Americas, 126 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 47 in Asia and the Pacific region.
 In a period of less than three years, Bass had moved from having a toe-hold in the Holiday Inn business (with its initial purchase of eight Holiday Inn hotels in the U.K. and Europe) to ownership of the entire brand worldwide.
 Early accomplishments
 Following the initial purchase of eight hotels in the U.K. and Europe, Bass put in Crest management to improve room merchandising, staff discipline and financial controls, which sharply raised the profitability of these units.
 At the time of acquiring the international business of Holiday Corporation, Bryan D. Langton, chairman and chief executive officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide, said: "Bass offers the financial muscle, discipline, control and management expertise in operating hotels. Holiday Corporation will bring enterpreneurial flair and negotiation skills related to franchising."
 International expansion of the chain, especially in the key targeted areas of joint ventures and management contracts, had accelerated during that period with the opening of an additional 18 hotels.
 In the two years since the Bass acquisition, Holiday Inn Worldwide has undergone a major corporate reorganization, moved its worldwide headquarters and North American operations to Atlanta, brought a global focus to the brand through its marketing efforts, created the company's first stand-alone Quality Division with responsibility for continuously improving the quality of the hotels in the chain, reinvigorated Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, introduced Holiday Inn Express in North America, re-emphasized its commitment to the Holiday Inn Garden Court concept in Europe, and recently introduced two new products for the mid-market customer, Holiday Inn SunSpree Resorts(sm) and Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Resorts(sm).
 Holidex
 Another key to the success of Holiday Inn is its commitment to lead the industry in technological advances. Holidex is the world's largest and most sophisticated computerized hotel reservation system. It links the more than 1,600 Holiday Inn properties with 21 Holiday Inn central reservation offices, more than 60 corporate implant Holidex terminals and more than 240,000 airline terminals worldwide.
 Through this system, more than 70,000 Holiday Inn rooms nights are booked each day, a total of approximately 25 million bookings annually -- more than all other hotel chains combined. Through the Holidex system, an individual reservation can be processed and confirmed in 142 seconds. The company is seeking to expand its linkages with other major reservation systems in the U.S.
 In the United States, against its mid-scale competition, Holiday Inn has consistently achieved a premium in occupancy rates. In average daily room rates, the Holiday Inn brand also commands a premium. This premium reflects the consumer value of the brand.
 -0- 3/10/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: The above can be used for background information on Holiday Inn Worldwide./
 /CONTACT: Gayle MacIntyre of Holiday Inn Worldwide, 212-315-6092 (March 10), or 404-604-2903 (after March 10), or Kathy Egan of Golin/Harris


Communications, 212-315-6092 (March 10), or 312-836-7361 (after March 10), for Holiday Inn Worldwide/ CO: Holiday Inn Worldwide ST: Georgia IN: LEI SU:

BN-BR -- AT006 -- 6824 03/10/92 11:08 EST
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