Billionaire Ty Warner — the Beanie Babies tycoon — has received a $900 million offer for his Four Seasons Hotel New York, possibly from an unidentified Asian investor, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Warner purchased the 368-room hotel, located at East 57th Street, for $275 million in 1999. If Warner accepts the offer — equivalent to about $2.4 million per room — it would be one of the priciest hotel sales ever in Manhattan, according to the Journal.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resort must now decided if it is prepared to match the offer in order to keep the flagship location. In 2009, when Warner received another offer for the hotel, Four Seasons declined to match the offer and Warner eventually walked away from the offer.The Four Seasons operates, but does not own any of its 92 hotels.
If Warner accepts the offer and the new owner removes the Four Seasons brand, Warner will be required to pay a termination fee, which is likely to amount to tens of millions of dollars, a source told the Journal.
“It’s among the top three or four hotels in terms of average room rate in New York,” John Fox, senior vice president for hotel consulting firm PKF Consulting USA in New York, said. “But $900 million strikes me as a bit beyond what I expected.…I’d be very surprised if it actually trades for that.” [WSJ] —Christopher Cameron