Playa Hotels & Resorts has agreed to buy five Jamaica
resorts from Sagicor Group Jamaica for about $300 million in cash and stock.
Playa is buying four Jewel-branded resorts and the 489-room Hilton
The Jewel properties are the 268-room Jewel Runaway Bay,
250-room Jewel Dunn's River, 225-room Jewel Paradise Cove and 88-room Jewel
Grande Palmyra. Playa will also acquire land at the Jewel Grande Palmyra with
rights to build another 700 rooms there.
Playa will operate the Jamaica resorts, too. The resorts are
currently operated by Aimbridge Hospitality.
With the acquisition, Playa will boost its resort count on Jamaica
to seven. It also owns and operates the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara
all-inclusives on the island.
Founded in 2006, Playa continues to expand its Caribbean
presence since going public last year. The company in 2013 reached an agreement
with Hyatt to rebrand six resorts under the Ziva and Zilara brands.
Last year, Playa agreed to operate resorts under the Panama
Jack brand, and then rebranded Cancun's Gran Caribe and Playa
del Carmen's Gran Porto as Panama Jack resorts.
With the latest acquisition, Playa plans to expand the Panama
Jack brand, said Playa chief marketing
officer Kevin Froemming. Specifically, Playa will rebrand "one or two"
of the Jewel properties as Panama Jack resorts, though he didn't set a time frame.
Additionally, Froemming said Playa is considering combining the Hyatt
Zilara and Hyatt Ziva resorts into a single Hyatt Zilara property, then use one
of the beachfront plots acquired from Sagicor to build a new Hyatt Ziva
Playa will pay Sagicor $100 million in cash and 20 million
Playa shares, which as of Tuesday were trading at about $10 each. Playa will nominate
two Sagicor executives to its board of directors.