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Starwood spending $200M to redo Middle East hotels

NEW YORK (AP) -- As it focuses on overseas travelers, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is spending $200 million to renovate 13 of its Le Meridien hotels in the Middle East and Africa.

Starwood is expanding outside the U.S., with plans to add hotels in Europe and luxury hotels in emerging markets. The company said Wednesday that Africa and the Middle East are "continuing to evolve" as business and leisure travel destinations.

Starwood bought Le Meridien in 2005. It plans to invest the $200 million over the next three years.

The company, whose brands include Sheraton and Westin, has also said it plans to spend about $200 million to renovate its Luxury Collection hotels.

Starwood has about 1,130 properties worldwide.

Shares of Starwood added $1.61, or 2.6 percent, to $62.57 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of $47.41 to $63.53 over the last 12 months.