April 16, 2018 / 1:38 PM / 6 months ago

EXCLUSIVE-Marriott Vacations in the lead to clinch merger with ILG-sources

April 16 (Reuters) - Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp , a U.S. provider of vacation timeshare properties, is advanced discussions to merge with peer ILG Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would bring together two of the biggest vacation ownership companies, with brands including Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Hyatt and Sheraton. The combined company would have more scale to compete other hotel-branded rivals, including Hilton Grand Vacations Inc and Bluegreen Vacations Corp.

ILG views Marriott’s Vacations’ offer as the best it has received so far, and is engaged in negotiations to try to clinch a deal by the end of the month, the sources said. The talks could still end without any agreement, the sources added.

The exact merger structure that Marriott Vacations and ILG are negotiating could not be learned.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Marriott Vacations and ILG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

ILG also explored a merger with Apollo Global Management LLC’s Diamond Resorts International Inc, sources said last month. Talks between ILG and Diamond Resorts have now ended, according to the sources. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker in New York Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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