Thomas G. Conforti, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN), talked to The Wall Street Transcript about his company. Click here to read the complete interview.
TWST: Wyndham is a well-known name but it would be helpful if you could start with a brief history of the company and an overview of your brands and operations.
Mr. Conforti: Wyndham Worldwide’s corporate history can be traced back to the 1990 formation of HFS, Hospitality Franchise Systems. It initially began as a hotel franchisor, then later it extended its hospitality business and became a major real estate and car rental franchisor as well. In late 1997, HFS merged with another company to form Cendant, and then it stayed a part of Cendant until 2006 when Cendant spun off all of its businesses, and we became an independent public company. So those are the historical origins of our company.
Now we have three business units. We have a hotel franchising business with such recognizable brands as Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, Howard Johnson, and other brands as well, and of course Wyndham. In our hotel business, our brands are mostly found as economy and midscale brands. Wyndham is an upscale brand, and we’re developing a greater presence of Wyndham around the world. We have a second business unit, the Wyndham Exchange & Rentals business. That division includes a European vacation rental business that has operating presence in the UK, Denmark, Holland. Many of the rental properties that we rent can be found throughout Europe. Brands that are associated with our European Vacation Rental business include the Hoseasons brand in the UK. Our Scandinavian business is branded under the name Novasol, and our business in Holland has the brand Landal. They are all European vacation rental business, where we act as a value-added intermediary between people who own vacation homes and people who want to rent them. We recently purchased a U.S. vacation rental business, ResortQuest. The business unit also includes a time-share exchange business under the brand name RCI. We are the largest time-share exchange company in the world. Combined, our vacation rental and exchange business generates around $300 million of EBITDA.