The Grand Wailea and three other U.S. luxury resorts have been sold to a Singaporean government investment fund that previously pledged to pay $1.5 billion for the portfolio of resorts that owners Paulson & Co. and Winthrop Realty Trust foreclosed on last year.
A public auction of the resorts that had been scheduled for Thursday was canceled because no other bids came through against the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., a major creditor to the properties.
The Government of Singapore Investment Corp., known as GIC, had come forward in August as a so-called stalking horse bidder with its $1.5 billion bid. An auction had been scheduled to determine whether another buyer would pay more for the portfolio of resorts, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court in New York.
The sale is still subject to court approval.
In addition to the 780-room Grand Wailea, the other properties in the deal are the La Quinta Resort & Club and the PGA West golf course in La Quinta, Calif.; the Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, Calif.; and the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.
The hotels - all of which are managed under Hilton's luxury Waldorf Astoria brand, except for the Berkeley property - have been operating under bankruptcy protection since February 2011.
The deal will include $1.12 billion in cash and paying off $360 million in debt, according to court filings.
"It's great to have this period of tumult behind us, and were looking forward to getting to know and working with our new owners," Matt Bailey, managing director for the Grand Wailea, told The Maui News.
GIC is a sovereign wealth fund that manages Singapore's foreign-exchange reserves. The fund manages an estimated $300 billion in diversified assets in more than 40 countries.
Paulson & Co., a New York-based hedge fund, and Winthrop Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, took over the Grand Wailea and several other resorts by foreclosing on the previous owner.
Soon after, they put the Grand Wailea and four other resorts into bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure of $1 billion in mortgages and $525 million in maturing mezzanine debt held by the Singaporean investment fund, MetLife and others.
The fifth property - the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami - was sold to real estate investor Donald Trump earlier this year for $150 million.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.