Starwood, others to invest more in Le Meridien

NEW YORK (AP) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts will invest another $1 billion in Le Meridien to help support a pipeline of hotels expected to open within the next year.

The lodging company and its ownership groups have invested almost $3 billion in Le Meridien over the last seven years.

Le Meridien's portfolio includes more than 100 hotels around the world. Earlier this year it announced that 10 new hotels and resorts are expected to open by early 2014. Le Meridien is also renovating 12 hotels in the Middle East and Africa.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. acquired Le Meridien in 2005 and has worked with its ownership groups to reposition it as a high-end luxury brand.

Shares of Starwood, based in Stamford, Conn., climbed 22 cents to $68.52 in Monday afternoon trading.