by Michael J. Shapiro | July 31, 2015
In its efforts to accelerate growth, Starwood Hotels & Resorts signed 64 hotel deals in the second quarter, representing about 14,400 rooms, the company divulged in its second-quarter earnings release. That's nearly 70 percent more than the number of signings in the second quarter last year; 15 percent of those properties are conversions from other brands, almost twice as many as a year ago. Starwood opened 21 hotels in the quarter, or about 4,000 rooms, a 5 percent increase over last year.

More than 40 percent of the company's pipeline consists of limited-service hotels in the upscale segment, noted interim CEO Adam M. Aron, led by Four Points by Sheraton and followed by Aloft. The Aloft flag has performed particularly well with respect to revenue per available room, increasing 10 percent year-over-year for the quarter in actual dollars, far surpassing the company's other brands.

In terms of Starwood's possible sale as well as the search for a permanent CEO, Aron said both processes are underway. "But at this point, we have nothing specific to report and have said previously that we would not be commenting on either topic midstream," he noted in the transcript of the call. "It goes without saying that we will share news with you on these two important subjects as soon as there is news that we can share."

Meanwhile, lodging giant InterContinental Hotels Group squelched persisting rumors that it had designs on acquiring Starwood. "The Board of Directors of IHG states that it is not in talks with Starwood with a view to a combination of the businesses," read a statement from IHG following its earnings call on Thursday.