Sandals Resorts reportedly seeking potential sale

Sandals Montego Bay

In a story that first appeared in Reuters, Caribbean resort operator Sandals Resorts International is reportedly exploring strategic alternatives, which include a potential sale of the company. 

The company was founded by Gordon "Butch" Stewart 36 years ago and has never changed ownership in that time. It's reportedly the largest non-government employer in Jamaica.

Sandals has hired investment bank Deutsche Bank AG to explore the options. 

The valuation of the company has not been determined, but sources familiar told Reuters it could be worth more than $1 billion. It's not known if this is for the real estate, the operations or both. 

In January, Sandals formed a new partnership with Marriott International to bring AC Hotels by Marriott to the Caribbean. This was the first partnership between the hospitality companies and the first time SRI will manage a brand it did not create. The AC Hotel in Kingston was slated to open winter 2019.

According to SRI CEO and Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart, the AC Kingston will have 220 rooms, a 10,000 square foot conference center and full service restaurant. Parking, often a challenge in Jamaica’s capital, will include both valet and self-serve options.  

“Marriott International is excited to partner with Sandals Resorts International on bringing the AC Hotels by Marriott brand to Jamaica,” said Alejandro Acevedo, VP of development, Marriott International Caribbean and Latin America. “Because of solid partners, like Sandals, we are able to continue to expand our presence in the Caribbean and Latin America where we currently operate over 200 hotels across 30 brands. The AC Hotels brand will be an excellent addition to our existing portfolio in Jamaica.”

Sandals owns 24 vacation properties in seven Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Grenada and Barbados.