Singapore’s GIC is said to be selling a Waldorf Astoria-branded resort in Hawaii to Blackstone Group for $1.1 billion, marking the second-biggest sale of a single hotel in US history.
The sovereign wealth fund has reportedly reached an agreement with private equity giant Blackstone to sell the Grand Wailea, a 780-room luxury resort on the island of Maui, according an account in Bloomberg citing a person with knowledge of the deal.
Among single-asset hospitality deals in the US, the sale by the Asian investor is surpassed only by the $1.95 billion acquisition of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel by China’s Anbang Insurance Group in 2014.
GIC Checks Out of Maui Mega-Resort
Managed by Hilton Worldwide, the 40-acre (12-hectare) tropical resort on Maui’s southwest shore was opened in 1991. The resort features nine pools, a 2,000-foot-long river, 11 tennis courts, and three restaurants among other amenities.
The real estate arm of GIC bought the property in March 2013 as part of a complex transaction supervised by a bankruptcy court, in which the company took over four prestigious resort destinations in the US from hedge fund Paulson & Co and Boston-based Winthrop Realty Trust. The firm paid $774 million for the Hawaiian asset, according to Real Capital Analytics.
Through the same transaction, GIC also bought up the Waldorf Astoria-branded Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona and the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, as well as the Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, California.
Sale Follows Flurry of US Acquisitions by Singaporean Giant
GIC’s reported deal with New York-based Blackstone extends a relationship which includes another US mega-deal between the two investment behemoths. In December 2014, affiliates of GIC bought Blackstone’s US industrial platform, IndCor Properties, from funds affiliated with Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI & VII for $8.1 billion.
The news also comes amid a flurry of American deals for GIC, which earlier this week announced it was teaming up with pension manager CPPIB and US-based Cortland Partners to invest $550 million in multifamily housing projects mainly in the country’s Sun Belt states.
That announcement followed a week after GIC said it was extending a joint venture with CPPIB and Chicago’s Scion Group to invest in US student housing projects by wagering another $1.1 billion on the asset class.
GIC, which manages Singapore’s foreign reserves, has an estimated $359 billion in assets under management, making it the world’s 13th-largest public fund according to one ranking.