Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Amid report of potential sale, Sandals says it’s business as usual

Published:Friday | May 12, 2017 | 5:00 AM
A Sandals hotel in Jamaica.

Sandals Resorts International issued a one-paragraph statement that neither confirms nor denies whether its founder and chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart is exploring a potential sale of the hotel management company.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported exclusively, citing sources, that Sandals Resorts International has hired investment bank Deutsche Bank AG to explore several options, including selling a majority stake in the more than three-decade-old resort group.

CEO of Sandals Resorts, Adam Stewart, son of the founder, did not respond to messages regarding the report, while spokesman Stephen Hector requested time to respond.

On Thursday morning, SRI issued a statement to the Financial Gleaner, saying: "Sandals Resorts Interna-tional is exploring options to accelerate the company's long-term growth and development plans. This is not new. Meanwhile, it's business as usual."

Sandals is a privately held company and its finances are unknown, although Reuters has been speculated its value at US$1 billion, inclusive of debt.

Sandals Resorts now comprises 24 properties spread across several Caribbean islands, including Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, The Bahamas, and its home market of Jamaica.

The hotel company had its beginnings in 1981 when Stewart acquired Bay Roc hotel, located near the noisy Sangster Airport runway.

Stories have been told over time how Stewart made the property work by integrating the noisy aeroplane take-offs into the product. Guests on the property would be encouraged to wave at the planes as they fly overhead.

The hotel group now operates five brands, including Sandals and Beaches.

business@gleanerjm.com