Starwood sheds two Florence hotels as Marriott merger approaches

(The St. Regis Florence )

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has closed on the sale of The St. Regis Florence and The Westin Excelsior Florence to Nozul Hotels & Resorts, the owner of The Gritti Palace, Venice and W Doha Hotel, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Jaidah Holdings for €190 million (approximately $213 million). Starwood will continue to operate the hotels under the St. Regis and Westin brand flags under new long-term management agreements.

In a statement, Starwood CEO Thomas Mangas said that the company was preparing to close its merger with Marriott International, and was looking to create value for its shareholders. “Asset dispositions remain a key part of that strategy and, following a year where we exceeded our target, we have already disposed of nearly $500 million of assets this year, including this sale, the sale of Hotel Imperial, and the transfer of five properties as part of Vistana Signature Experiences’ separation from Starwood,” he said.

“The sale of The St. Regis Florence and The Westin Excelsior Florence hotels following our recent sale of The Gritti Palace in Venice to Jaidah Holdings highlights our ongoing commitment to dispose of our owned assets to the right long-term partners to create both immediate and long-term shareholder value,” said Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood. “We see strong interest in our remaining assets from a diverse array of investors worldwide with other potential transaction discussions ongoing.”

Mazen Jaidah, executive chairman of Jaidah Holdings, said that his company was investing in “high-quality assets that are resilient to market fluctuations.”

With this acquisition, Starwood now works with Jaidah Holdings on four hotels, including the W Doha (the first W Hotel in the Middle East) and The Gritti Palace in Venice.