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MANAGEMENT GROUP ACQUIRES DESIGN & PURCHASING SUBSIDIARY OF WESTIN HOTELS & RESORTS

 MANAGEMENT GROUP ACQUIRES DESIGN & PURCHASING SUBSIDIARY
 OF WESTIN HOTELS & RESORTS
 SEATTLE, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A management group has acquired 100 percent of the stock of F O R M A Inc., the wholly owned design and purchasing subsidiary of Westin Hotels & Resorts, according to Raymond J. Goad, principal and one of the firm's new managing directors. The sale was effective Dec. 31, 1991.
 The sale by Westin also includes a sister company which does business in Canada as F O R M A Ltd.
 Other principals in the purchase include Jack Knudtsen, principal and managing director, who has been F O R M A's president since 1987 and with the company since 1984; and Les Jones, principal and director of Food Facilities Planning, who has held the latter position since 1977 and has been with the company since 1968. The group was assisted by Brueggeman & Johnson Capital of Seattle.
 F O R M A, listed by "Hotel and Motel Management" and "Interior Design" magazines in 1991 as one of the nation's top 50 lodging design firms, was founded by Western International Hotels as Western Service and Supply in 1955. (Western International changed its name to Westin in 1981.)
 Located in the Lenora Square Building, a historic Art Deco landmark in Seattle, F O R M A has 34 employees and annual revenues in the $10 to $12 million range. Consulting services include Interior Design, Signage Design, Food Facilities Planning and Contract Purchasing for hospitality, health care, business and industry and institution clients.
 "This sale represents the culmination of a carefully planned diversification process," said Knudtsen. "It began in 1985 when the design and purchasing company changed its name and moved to its own offices. At the same time, it was given the specific charge of entering new markets and developing a client base outside of Westin. As a result, over 70 percent of F O R M A's fee business now comes from sources other than Westin-funded projects. And consulting services today encompass not only hospitality but health care, business and industry, and government clients. The company also operates throughout North America as well as in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
 "We believe this last step in the diversification process now positions F O R M A to take advantage of a number of new business opportunities that understandably were not available to us while we were owned by Westin," added Knudtsen.
 John Chen, president of Westin Hotels & Resorts, stated, "We have concluded that F O R M A's potential can be most effectively realized as an independent company. Westin will continue to use F O R M A for design and procurement services."
 EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION
 According to Les Jones, F O R M A will continue to provide employment and career opportunities for its employees but the context will be more entrepreneurial than corporate to encourage and reward participation. For example, a profit-sharing program will be offered to all employees based on performance. And key employees will be invited to share in a stock participation program.
 "We are blessed with some superb talent... and we intend to keep it," said Jones.
 CLIENTS
 F O R M A will continue to have a client relationship with Westin Hotels & Resorts. Other clients include such diverse companies as Boeing; Disney Development Co.; First Winthrop Hotels and Resorts; Salomon Brothers; the Seattle Art Museum; United Airlines; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. National Park Service; Boise State University; Children's Hospital of Seattle; Marriott Residence Inns; the cities of Tacoma, Bellevue and Spokane; Kemper Development; Broadview Development Associates; and Safeco Insurance Co.
 SELECTED PROJECTS AND AWARDS
 The Harbor View Hotel & Resort, Martha's Vineyard
 A decaying resort whose main building was built in 1891 and a wing built in 1910 was bought at auction by the First Winthrop Corp. of Boston. The Preservation partnership and F O R M A were commissioned to undertake its restoration. Local historical commissions reviewed everything right down to the tints of the glass. The restoration won 1991 National and Local Awards from the American Society of Interior Designers and "Restaurants & Institutions." "Contract Design" said F O R M A was hired because First Winthrop had worked with the firm enough to know that they could "raise the resort up to the four-star level and create the unique, intimate atmosphere it wanted."
 Ida Culver House Broadview
 F O R M A was responsible for the interior design, interior architecture of public spaces, signage and F/F&E purchasing and installation for this full-service retirement community in Seattle, winning several design awards, including the 1991 National Award from "Contemporary Long-term Care." The work was called both visually intriguing and user-friendly. For example, coffered ceilings and glass paned dividers defined seating areas, creating a sense of intimacy and keeping the noise level down.
 Ocean Pointe Resort
 F O R M A managed the interior design, signage design and F/F&E purchasing services for this 250-room resort hotel located on Victoria, B.C.'s harbor. Scheduled to open in March 1992, F O R M A's design re-states Ocean Pointe's Edwardian exterior in a contemporary/international vernacular by combining rich textures, colors and materials with European and contemporary furnishings and fine artwork. in addition to guestrooms and suites, F O R M A designed the resort's entry lobby and adjacent lounge, library/club, restaurants, meeting facilities, health club/spa and retail shops.
 The Westin Stamford and Westin Plaza, Raffles City, Singapore
 Completed in 1986, F O R M A was responsible for the majority of The Westin Plaza and Westin Stamford's interior design, including the design of all guestrooms and suites; loose furnishings in public spaces; major restaurants; office facilities and businessmen's center; pre-function and banquet areas; health club; and swimming pool. In addition, F O R M A's food facilities planners designed all kitchens, pantries and support facilities for the hotel complex, a project that involved 17 food and beverage outlets; 27 kitchens and pantries; banquet services for 5,000; and 24-hour room service for 2,000 guest rooms.
 The Westin Tai Ping Yang, Shanghai
 F O R M A's interior design responsibilities for the 27-story, 700-room hotel encompassed guestrooms, suites and public areas (including five restaurants and bars). F O R M A also developed an artwork program for the Tai Ping Yang; provided schematic design services for the hotel's kitchens, such as a European-style display kitchen for the rooftop restaurant; and provided purchasing services for the luxury suites' design furnishings.
 Washington State University, Pullman
 The firm was enlisted by the University to create a new dining hall that would attract a greater number of students and compete successfully with local fast-food restaurants. They were also to replace outdated bulk-food preparation equipment in the main kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment for high-speed, small-batch food preparation. After renovation was completed, business grew to 3,375 meals a day from fewer than 400 students per meal. The project received a 1987 "Restaurants & Institutions" award.
 ABOUT THE PRINCIPALS
 Ray Goad had been associated with Westin Hotels & Resorts for 14 years, most recently as vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary. During his tenure, he served as an officer and member of the board of directors of F O R M A Inc. Goad was also directly involved in the $1.53 billion sale and financing of Westin to Aoki Corp. of Japan, its current owner. For the past three years he has been engaged in the private practice of law as Counsel to the firm of Le Gros, Buchanan, Paul & Whitehead.
 Jack Knudtsen's association with Westin goes back to a period between 1972 and 1984 when he held management positions at Westin hotels in Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He has 20 years' experience in hotel management and operations and, to a great extent, has been credited with F O R M A's successful diversification over the last four years.
 As director of F O R M A's food facilities planning group, Les Jones, FSCI, has more than 25 years' experience in commercial and institutional food facilities planning. Under Jones' direction, F O R M A has received an unprecedented four consecutive, prestigious "Restaurants & Institutions" Food Facilities Design Awards during the years 1986 through 1989.
 -0- 1/7/92
 /CONTACT: Ray Goad of F O R M A Inc., 206-628-8200/ CO: Westin Hotels & Resorts; F O R M A Inc. ST: Washington IN: LEI SU: TNM


JH-SC -- SE003 -- 7159 01/07/92 08:04 EST
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