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JERUSALEM-Israel’s Delek Belron International, a unit of Delek Real Estate, has revealed that its foreign subsidiaries and partners are in advanced talks to buy a company that owns 47 hotels managed by the Marriott hotel chain in Britain. The hotels have a total of 8,456 rooms and are managed by Marriott under a 30-year agreement. The purchase price is about shekels 8.6 billion ($2 billion). Delek would acquire about 19% of the portfolio.

In May 2005, Whitbread sold its Marriott business into a joint venture company owned jointly by Whitbread and subsidiaries of Marriott International, with a management contract held by Marriott. In April of this year, the joint venture company was sold to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is now in talks to sell it to Delek and its partners.

“The Marriott deal adds to the deal we did at the end of 2005, buying the Hilton hotel chain in Britain,” says Ilik Rozansky, chief executive of Delek Real Estate, in a statement. The company currently holds 63 leading-brand hotels in Britain, he added.

“We see great potential in British tourism, in light of the country’s strong economy, in light of the expected accelerated growth there before the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” he says. The executive added that Delek Real Estate intends to continue to invest in the European hotel industry.

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