FRHI Hotels & Resorts Group – for sale

The Middle East owners of FRHI Hotels & Resorts are looking to sell the luxury hotel operator, whose high-end brands include Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel, according to sources of the WSJ.

The Toronto-based company is owned by a Qatari government fund and Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company. The two firms have hired Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to market the company, these people said.

FRHI operates 116 hotels with nearly 44,000 rooms in 34 countries. The list includes some historic luxury properties like New York’s Plaza Hotel, the Peace Hotel in Shanghai and the Savoy in London.

One hotel executive estimated that FRHI could fetch up to $3 billion. A spokesman for FRHI declined to comment.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said in April it was undergoing a review of strategic alternatives, which many in the market read as a willingness to consider takeover or merger offers for the company.

The Savoy, London – managed by Fairmont (photo