February 24, 2020

Hilton Worldwide Acquires the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek


Hilton Worldwide has acquired the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek from a consortium including affiliates of GEM Realty Capital, Farallon Capital Management and Blackstone. The closing follows an announcement last week that Hilton Worldwide signed agreements to acquire the two hotels.

Opened in October 2009, the 498-room Waldorf Astoria Orlando and 1,000-room Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek together form a 482-acre resort that is surrounded by a private nature preserve and is conveniently located on three sides by Walt Disney World®. The resort features a 3-acre Florida-style lazy river pool, Rees Jones-designed championship golf course, Waldorf Astoria Spa, fitness center and nearly a dozen dining and lounge options, including the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s award-winning La Luce® and Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s signature restaurant, Bull and Bear®.

“These two properties are a great addition to our portfolio of owned assets and a testament to the power of strong partnerships, teamwork, vision and devotion,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide. “The previous ownership has played a pivotal role in the success of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and we will continue to build on their legacy of providing guests with outstanding experiences.”

“GEM has had a longstanding relationship with Hilton Worldwide through both GEM Realty Securities and GEM Realty Properties,” said Norman Geller, Senior Managing Partner of GEM Realty Capital. “Over more than a decade, we have worked with Hilton Worldwide’s exceptional management team, and we are thrilled that Hilton Worldwide will own and continue to manage this world-class resort.”

The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek have achieved a number of firsts and extensive awards. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando was the first newly built Waldorf Astoria property since the original Waldorf was opened on the same day 82 years before. Since then, the properties have received 62 “best” awards including Conde Nest Traveler Gold List, Travel & Leisure World’s Best, US News & World Report on Travel, Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Hilton’s own Connie Award.

The property’s ownership entities have worked closely together and focused on ensuring the hotel team had the tools they needed to maintain the highest standards. “Built during difficult global economic times, ownership persevered and continued the commitment to stay on course, delivering on time and on budget,” said Peter Kacheris, managing director of the resort. “They always responded to the ever-changing needs of our customers by reinvesting into the property.”

“We are gratified by this result,” said Rocky Fried, Managing Member at Farallon. “This is an excellent outcome for our investors, with credit to our patient approach and collaborative work with our partners at GEM and Blackstone as well as the management team at Hilton Worldwide.”

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide (HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of twelve world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,300 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 715,000 rooms in 94 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at http://www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, http://www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide, and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.

About GEM Realty Capital

Founded in 1994, GEM Realty Capital, Inc. (GEM) is a Chicago-based real estate investment company that invests in private-market real estate assets and publicly-traded real estate securities through two lines of business, GEM Realty Properties and GEM Realty Securities. GEM has approximately $4 billion of assets under management on behalf of pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and private clients. GEM is currently investing capital for its fifth discretionary private real estate fund, GEM Realty Fund V, L.P.

About Farallon Capital Management

Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. is a global institutional asset management firm founded in 1986. Farallon manages approximately $19.5 billion for institutions, including college endowments, charitable foundations and pension plans, and for high net worth individuals. Farallon employs approximately 180 employees. Farallon is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. Farallon is currently investing capital for Farallon Real Estate Partners, which targets income-producing office, multifamily, retail and industrial properties. More information about Farallon may be found at www.faralloncapital.com.


Lisa Cole

Hilton Worldwide

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Hilton Worldwide Acquires the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

At Davos, it's not all about money

Read MoreBold-facers to talk crises at Davos

“It is a combination of networking, understanding the scope of views with respect to markets and the economy, and some out-of-the-box idea generation,” explained the manager of a multibillion dollar firm who is avoiding media interviews.

“Going to Davos helps generate investment ideas and manage risk by giving attendees a better understanding of the global dynamics driving markets,” added a handler for one of the prominent hedge fund managers in attendance but who is not speaking.

Of course, selling funds to the many huge institutions in Davos also factors in. There are chief investment officers from sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, insurance companies, charitable foundations and more floating around, potentially looking to allocate billions of dollars to so-called “alternative” investment funds.

At least one firm is hosting a formal event. Hedge fund investor SkyBridge Capital is putting on its annual “Wine Forum” tasting this week at the Hotel Europe’s Piano Bar, a popular Davos after-hours hangout. The event is both for client purposes and charity; this year proceeds will go to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, whose namesake sang at Davos on Tuesday.

Speaking on stage can also help brand managers as astute economic thinkers.

Dalio, for example, will participate on a panel Thursday on the looming end to U.S.-style quantitative easing, “Ending the Experiment.” Singer will be part of a debate Wednesday on whether markets are “mispricing” geopolitical risks. And Rubenstein will talk Wednesday on the “New Growth Context” in the global economy.

Others speaking include George Soros of Soros Fund Management (now a family office) on Europe; Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge on economic volatility; Kenneth Hersh of NGP Energy Capital Management on fossil fuels; and Colin Teichholtz of Pine River Capital Management on shadow banking.

But the majority of managers in Davos aren’t speaking, many opting to keep a lower profile.

Hedge fund managers at WEF include Dan Loeb of Third Point, Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, Frank Brosens of Taconic Capital, Alan Howard of Brevan Howard Investment Products, Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global Investors, Mitch Julis and Josh Friedman of Canyon Partners, Andrew Law of Caxton Associates, Michael Martino of Mason Capital Management, Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management, and David Harding of Winton Capital Management, according to WEF materials.

Private equity investors include Stephen Pagliuca of Bain Capital, Scott Kapnick of Highbridge Capital Management, Mitch Truwit of Apax Partners and Tom Speechley of Abraaj Group.

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At Davos, it's not all about money

RI reopens 2 areas to shellfish harvesting – News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England


Rhode Island environmental officials have reopened two areas to shellfish harvesting.

Conditional Area A and the Conimicut Triangle reopened to shellfish harvesting at sunrise on Saturday. Authorities extended the shellfish closure that was already in place on Oct. 8 after sewage overflowed from the Narragansett Bay Commission’s and the City of Pawtucket’s sewer system.

The state Department of Environmental Management announce on Friday that the decision to reopen the waters to shellfish harvesting is based on results of tests of water samples collected by the Narragansett Bay Commission.

Authorities also lifted a precautionary advisory urging people to refrain from swimming and other contact recreational activities along the Blackstone River downstream of Carnation Street and in the Seekonk River. The advisory expired at sundown on Friday.

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RI reopens 2 areas to shellfish harvesting – News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

EU mergers and takeovers (Sept 17)

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process:




— Private equity firm the Blackstone Group to aquire life insurer Lombard (notified Sept. 3/deadline Oct. 8/simplified)





— French train operator SNCF to form joint venture with Belgian train operator SNCB, to manage the operation of the high-speed train service Thalys (notified Aug. 14/deadline Sept. 19)


— Belgian telecoms group Telenet to acquire 50 percent stake in Belgian broadcasting company De Vijver Media (notified Aug. 18/deadline Sept. 22)


— Hungarian oil and gas group MOL to acquire Italian company Eni’s Czech, Slovak and Romanian units (notified Aug. 20/deadline Sept. 24)


— German publisher Postdam and German postal services provider PostCon Deutschland to acquire joint control of post services company Advo (notified Aug. 25/deadline Sept. 29/simplified)

— Restructuring specialist Droege International Group to acquire German bookseller Weltbild (notified Aug. 25/deadline Sept. 29/simplified)

— German consumer goods company Henkel to acquire French household cleaner maker Spotless (notified Aug. 25/deadline Sept. 29)

— Chinese grain trader COFCO Corp to buy a majority stake in Dutch trader Nidera (notified Aug. 25/deadline Sept. 29/simplified)


— Private equity firm Nordic Capital to acquire Norway-based debt collector Lindorff (notified Aug. 26/deadline Sept. 30/simplified)

— U.S. agricultural commodities company Archer Daniel Midland Co to buy Swiss-based food flavours and specialty ingredients company Wild Flavors (notified Aug. 26/deadline Sept. 30/simplified)

— Private equity firms KKR & Co LP and Riverstone Holdings LLC to form an oil and natural gas joint venture Trinity River Energy LLC (notified Aug. 26/deadline Sept. 30/simplified)


— French food group Danone and ID Logistics to form a joint venture (notified Aug. 28/deadline Oct. 2/simplified)


— U.S. fruit firm Chiquita Brands and Irish rival Fyffes to merge (notified Aug. 14/deadline extended to Oct. 3 from Sept. 19 after the companies offered commitments)

— U.S. social network Facebook to buy mobile messaging startup WhatsApp (notified Aug. 29/deadline Oct. 3)

— U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly to acquire Swiss peer Novartis’s animal health business (notified Aug. 29/deadline Oct. 3)

— U.S. orthopaedic products maker Zimmer Holdings to acquire rival Biomet Inc (notified Aug. 29/deadline Oct. 3)

— China’s Huayu Automotive Systems and German car parts maker KSPG Ag to set up a joint venture (notified Aug. 29/deadline Oct. 3/simplified)


— U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus to acquire joint control of custody services company Santander Securities, which is part of Spanish bank Banco Santander (notified Sept. 1/deadline Oct. 6/simplified)


— Swiss insurer Helvetia to acquire Nationale Suisse (notified Sept. 2/deadline Oct. 7/simplified)


— The Ortner Group and Strauss, which is a subsidiary of Austrian construction company PORR, to jointly acquired Austrian property developer UBM (notified Sept. 4/deadline Oct. 9/simplified)

— Areva Energies Renouvelables and Gamesa Energia to set up a joint venture (notified SEpt. 4/deadline Oct. 9/simplified)

— U.S. film and TV company 21st Century Fox and private investment firm Apollo Management to acquire joint control of a joint venture (notified Sept. 4/deadline Oct. 9)

— Dubai’s Dnata, part of the Emirates Group, to buy Britain’s Stella Travel Services UK Ltd, which is jointly owned by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Swiss bank UBS AG (notified Sept. 4/Oct. 9/simplified)

OCT 13

— U.S. household appliances maker Whirlpool to buy a 60 percent stake in Italian peer Indesit (notified Sept. 8/deadline Oct. 13)

OCT 14

— Petrochemicals group Ineos to buy BASF’s 50 percent stake in German plastics maker Styrolution (notified Sept. 9/deadline Oct. 14/simplified)

OCT 15

— Private equity firm Advent International to buy aluminium producer Corialis (notified Sept. 10/deadline Oct. 15/simplified)

OCT 16

— U.S. drugmaker AbbVie to acquire Irish peer Shire Plc (notified Sept. 11/deadline Oct. 16)

— U.S. aluminium group Alcoa to buy parts aerospace company Firth Rixson from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners (notified Sept. 11/deadline Oct. 16)

OCT 17

— Private equity firm EQT Infrastructure and Spanish building manager Onmomutua to acquire joint control of Spanish car operator Acvil, which is now solely controlled by EQT (notified Sept. 12/deadline Oct. 17/simplified)

OCT 20

— Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and German engineering group Siemens to set up a joint venture (notified Sept. 15/deadline Oct. 20)


— U.S. cable company Liberty Global to acquire Dutch peer Ziggo (notified March 14/deadline extended to Nov. 3 after Liberty Global provided further details of concessions)



The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review. It may extend that by 10 working days to 35 working days, to consider either a company’s proposed remedies or an EU member state’s request to handle the case.

Most mergers win approval but occasionally the Commission opens a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.


Under the simplified procedure, the Commission announces the clearance of uncontroversial first-stage mergers without giving any reason for its decision. Cases may be reclassified as non-simplified — that is, ordinary first-stage reviews — until they are approved.

(Editing by Foo Yun Chee)

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EU mergers and takeovers (Sept 17)

Paddlers prepared for 100-mile RI river tour

July 6, 2014

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Paddle Across Rhode Island team escaped potential washout impacts from Hurricane Arthur’s close brush with the area and set out on their more that 100-mile journey from the town’s Meadows Recreation Complex on Sunday with perfect weather and perfect river conditions.

“It looks fantastic,” team leader Chuck Horbert, a R.I. Department of Environmental Management freshwater wetlands employee, said as he and three paddling friends got ready to set out on the Blackstone River at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. The group expects to keep paddling and portaging across Rhode Island’s waterways for the next eight days on a journey that Horbert had envisioned completing last July.

Hurricane Andrea arrived in the area last year just in time to raise the flows of Rhode Island rivers to impassable levels, and Horbert’s start of the trip on the Branch River in Burrillville ended before the group got out of Northern Rhode Island.

Full story appears on page A1 of Monday’s Call and Monday’s Times.


Paddlers prepared for 100-mile RI river tour