By Melodie Warner
Marriott International Inc. (>> Marriott International Inc) agreed to transfer its Marriott Business Services unit to Accenture PLC (>> Accenture Plc), which in turn will provide finance and accounting services to Marriott and its franchisees.
The companies expect to start the transition in August with the full move being largely complete by early September. Further terms weren't disclosed.
Marriott said the consulting company Accenture will create a new business service--called Accenture Hospitality Services--built in part around the operations and capabilities coming from Marriott's Louisville, Tenn., operation.
Marriott, which operates the Courtyard, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton and Fairfield brands as well as its namesake hotels, said the arrangement will provide savings and benefits to its hotel owners over a 10-year period by lowering costs for a range of business services that will now be delivered by Accenture.
Marriott's earnings have benefited from growing demand from corporate travelers in the U.S. and low hotel supply growth. The company has become increasingly dependent on international markets because of stalled construction of new hotels in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Accenture, which competes for global enterprise consulting contracts with tech giants like International Business Machines Corp. (>> International Business Machines Corp.) and Hewlett-Packard Co.(>> Hewlett-Packard Company), has mostly posted earnings growth for over two years thanks in part to strong revenue growth in its outsourcing business.
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