March 15, 2019 / 2:57 PM / 2 months ago

Marriott evaluates investor Jonathan Litt's nomination for board seat

FILE PHOTO: Signage for the New York Marriott Marquis is seen in Manhattan, New York, November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - Marriott International Inc said on Friday it was evaluating activist investor Jonathan Litt’s nomination for a seat on the hotel chain’s board.

Litt is the founder of hedge fund Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, which owned a 0.03 percent stake in Marriott as of Dec. 31.

Land & Buildings in recent weeks has privately urged Marriott to consider culling its 30 brands to better align itself with competitors such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier on Friday.

Land & Buildings spokesman declined to comment.

Shares of Marriott, which owns the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury hotel brands, rose as much as 4.36 percent to $124.83 on Friday, and were last up 1.8 percent at $121.79 in morning trade.

Up to Thursday’s close, Marriott’s shares had risen about 121 percent in the past five years, outperforming an about 82 percent increase in rival Hilton’s stock and a 51 percent jump in the S&P 500 index.

Earlier this month, Marriott’s Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson apologized before a U.S. Senate panel for a massive data breach involving up to 383 million guests in its Starwood hotels reservation system and vowed to protect against future attacks.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Svea Herbst in Boston; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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