Blackstone to Buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts for $6 Billion in Cash
The Blackstone Group, a private-equity firm, is purchasing Strategic Hotels & Resorts (www.strategichotels.com), a real-estate investment trust whose portfolio of 18 hotels includes the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C.; the 261-room Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, outside of San Francisco; and the 248-room Montage Laguna Beach (Calif.), for $6 billion in cash.
"Our board and management team have consistently stated that we would consider any opportunity that maximizes stockholder value," said Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, chairman and CEO of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, in a statement announcing the sale. "We believe this transaction capitalizes on our unique portfolio, strong asset-management platform and continued operating outperformance over the past several years." Finalization of the transaction, which is contingent on customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in early 2016.
Blackstone's acquisition of Strategic Hotels & Resorts came as a surprise to many in the industry. In recent months, other suitors had been mentioned as possible buyers, including Ohana Real Estate Investors and Cascade Investment, which is owned by Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.