Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is to take a half share in German-based Design Hotels for an undisclosed sum.

Starwood has signed an agreement to acquire 49.8% of the shares in Design Hotels from long term German partner Arabella Hospitality.

Berlin-based Design Hotels provides distribution, sales, marketing and consulting services for more than 200 independent member properties in 40 countries.

Starwood will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of Design Hotels and will continue to manage or franchise 20 of Arabella Hospitality hotels in Europe.

The Design Hotels deal, which is subject to anti-trust approval in Germany, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.