Blackstone to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts, unit in $6 billion deal: Reuters

(Reuters) — Blackstone Group LP’s (BX.N) real estate fund will buy U.S. luxury hotel owner Strategic Hotels & Resorts (BEE.N) and unit Strategic Hotels Funding LLC in a deal valued at $6 billion, including debt.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts shares rose to $14.09 in premarket trading on Tuesday, just below the offer price of $14.25 per share.

The company said the fund would buy all outstanding membership units of Strategic Hotels Funding for $14.25 per unit.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts is a real estate investment trust that owns hotels operated by top hospitality chains such as Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N), InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG.L) and Marriott International Inc (MAR.O).

The deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2016.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts said in August it was exploring a sale, among other strategic alternatives, and had hired J.P. Morgan as financial adviser.

Up to Friday’s close, the company’s shares had risen about 4 percent since July 22, a day before Bloomberg reported that the company had hired a bank to help find a buyer.

J.P. Morgan and Duff & Phelps advised Strategic Hotels & Resorts’ board.

Sidley Austin LLP is the company’s legal adviser, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is Blackstone’s legal counsel.