Executives at Sandals Resorts International (SRI) are "exploring opportunities for growth,” a spokesperson for the company tells Travel Agent. While the spokesperson didn't specify in what ways the company was looking to grow, the person added SRI is "exploring options to take advantage of the growing global demand for the brands."
Bloomberg recently reported that the company "has restarted an effort to sell itself," noting that the all-inclusive resort company could sell for as much as $4.5 billion. The spokesperson did not confirm nor deny whether SRI was up for sale.
This isn’t the first time that such reports have surfaced. In 2017, we spoke with founder and chairman of Sandals Gordon “Butch” Stewart about the possibility of a sale, which was then being reported by Reuters.
“Look, this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard this and I’m sure it won’t be the last,” Stewart told Travel Agent at the time. “We’ve been exploring options to accelerate the company’s long-term growth and development plans for quite some time – this is not new.”
Any potential sale would be the first change of ownership since it was founded by Stewart in 1981.
In total, SRI operates 24 properties in the Caribbean, which include Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Grand Pineapple Beach Resort, Fowl Cay Resort and Your Jamaican Villas.
While we don't know who the Sandals executives are looking to sell to, the all-inclusive market seems to be heating up for several of the larger global hotel companies—including Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corp., and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
In August, Marriott International announced it is making a major new investment in all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico across several of its brands, including The Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection, Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels, W Hotels, Autograph Collection and Delta by Marriott.
Last year, Hilton signed a deal with Playa Hotels & Resorts to expand its all-inclusive resort portfolio. As part of the deal, Hilton said it had plans calling for the two companies to open 10 all-inclusive resorts together by 2025.
Hyatt has eight all-inclusive hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, the most recent of which opened in 2017: Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana.