Mergers: Room at the Inns

For 30 years, the Sheraton Corp. of America, which vies with Hilton for the title of leading U.S. hotel chain, was run pretty much as the private, if not always profitable, satrapy of Co-Founder Ernest Henderson. After Henderson's death two months ago, the chain passed to his son, Ernest Henderson III, 43, as president and chief executive, and longtime Henderson Financial Adviser Richard Boonisar, 60, as chairman. Along with the changeover came rumors that Sheraton was ripe for acquisition if the right offer came.

Last week it did: an exchange of stock with a per-share value of $35 for each of...

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