CHICAGO—Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc.said Monday that it was exploring strategic alternatives for thecompany, including a possible sale. The lodging REIT, which tradeson the New York Stock Exchange as BEE, hasretained J.P. Morgan as financial advisor.

|

The announcement confirms a report in Bloomberg Business lastmonth that quoted sources said to be familiar with the matter. Thesources said that eBay Inc. founder PierreOmidyar, who controls development company OhanaReal Estate Investors, was among those interested inacquiring BEE.

|

More recently, Seattle-based Cascade InvestmentLLC, controlled by Bill Gates, said in anSEC filing Monday that it had increased its ownership of BEE to9.8%. Cascade, BEE's second-largest shareholder afterVanguard Group, also said in the SEC filing thatit had entered into a confidentiality and standstill agreement withBEE providing, among other things, for “the sharing of certainnon-public information.”

|

BEE's chairman and CEO, Raymond L. Gellein,says the company's board and management team “remain committed toacting in the best interests of our shareholders. We are confidentin our strategic plan and the value we have created for ourshareholders. At the same time, we are always open to ways in whichwe can further maximize shareholder value.”

|

In a statement, BEE says there are no guarantees that it willenter into any transaction at this time or in the future. Thecompany will not make any further public announcements until it hascompleted exploring its options.

|

Reuters reported in 2013 that BEE had hired EastdilSecured in connection with a possible sale of the REIT,following the departure in November 2012 of founder and CEOLaurence Geller. At that time, the company had amarket value of about $1.6 billion; today it is $3.8 billion.

|

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.