Billionaire Robert Rowling’s Omni in Talks to Sell Suburban Hotels

Billionaire Robert Rowling’s Omni Hotels & Resorts is in talks to sell five hotels as the pace of lodging deals picks up after the Covid-19 pandemic ground travel to a halt last year.

London & Regional Properties is in contract to acquire the hotels, which include Omni-branded properties in Austin and Dallas, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.K.-based hotelier is paying roughly $150 million, according to one of the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the transaction is private.

Representatives for London & Regional and Omni didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Omni, owned by Rowling’s TRT Holdings Inc., said in August it hired Hodges Ward Elliott to sell the hotels as part of an effort to create a more consistent experience across its portfolio of more than 50 properties. That meant unloading suburban properties to focus on resorts and convention center hotels that have become the core of the brand.

The deal is set to expand the U.S. holdings of London & Regional, whose portfolio of more than 17,000 rooms is concentrated in Europe and the Caribbean. The company, founded by billionaire brothers Richard and Ian Livingstone, owns the Mayfair Townhouse in London, the Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort and Atlas Hotels, which consists of 50 select-service properties in the U.K.

While Covid-19 put hotel sales on pause for much of 2020, transactions have been up since pharmaceutical companies began announcing promising vaccine data. Last month, Bloomberg reported that brothers David and Simon Reuben were buying the Surrey Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. And Todd Boehly’s Eldridge acquired the Hudson Hotel in New York and the Delano in Miami.

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