Marriott buys Caribbean hotel chain (and plans to sell it)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, file photo, two men stand outside the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International will buy a small chain of all-inclusive hotels in Barbados for $199 million, including debt, and plans to make improvements and eventually sell it.

Marriott’s acquisition of Elegant Hotels Group PLC gives it seven hotels with 588 rooms and a beachfront restaurant on Barbados. Six of the seven hotels are along the west coast of Barbados, known as the “Platinum Coast.”

Elegant Hotels Group is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. News of the Marriott deal sent its stock up 57% in Friday trading.

“There is a strong and growing consumer demand for premium and luxury properties in the all-inclusive category,” said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. “The addition of the Elegant portfolio will help us further jump start our expansion in the all-inclusive space.”

Marriott will carry out renovations at all seven hotels. Once complete, Marriott will operate the hotels under one or more of its hotel brand names.

Marriott prefers managing hotel properties over outright owning them. To that end, Marriott says over time, it intends to market the Elegant hotels for sale, while continuing to manage them for the new owner.

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