KAHULUI, HI-The publicly traded Maui Land & Pineapple Company has signed an agreement to buy back a 196-room luxury hotel on its golf resort property here from a fund advised by Morgan Stanley. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter. The sale price has not been disclosed. ML&P developed the hotel in 1978, ran it through the 1980s and then sold it to an investor on a long-term ground lease. The hotel has been operated by Starwood Hotels as part of their luxury collection ever since it was renovated six years ago.”The Kapalua Bay Hotel is a vital component in our revitalization plans for the overall resort,” says ML&P chairman/president/CEO David Cole. “Our goal is to enrich the resort experience for both residents and guests within the greater Kapalua community.” Company CFO Paul Meyer tells GlobeSt.com that as part of the ground lease agreement, ML&P has maintained a right of first refusal should the hotel be put up for sale. “We have had occasion to exercise it in the past, to ensure it stays in the right hands,” says Meyer. “Now we’re exercising it again; we have it under contract.”Meyer says ML&P has plans to upgrade the facility. He declined to comment on whether Starwood would continue to manage the facility and whether ML&P would be putting the hotel back on the market once it completes the upgrades. “We are evaluating all alternatives,” he says.ML&P, a Hawaii corporation and the successor to a business organized in 1909, owns approximately 29,000 acres on Maui, of which 8,400 acres are presently used in its operations.

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