Qatar looking to buy two St. Regis hotels in US

The Qatar Investment Authority is estimated to hold around $256 billion in assets

Published: Updated:

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which invests the country’s massive energy revenues, is in advanced talks to buy two luxury St. Regis hotels in the United States, Bloomberg reported unnamed sources as saying on Tuesday.

The two St. Regis hotels, one in New York and the other in San Francisco, are worth around $1 billion, although "they could sell for less," the sources told Bloomberg. The St. Regis chain is currently owned by Connecticut-based hospitality giant Starwood.

The Qatar Investment Authority is estimated to hold around $256 billion in assets, making it the world’s ninth largest. At home in the Qatari capital Doha, the fund owns Qatari Diar, a property developer, and has a stake in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Abroad, the group owns French football club Paris Saint-Germain and has stakes in Volkswagen and Barclay’s bank, among others.

In September last year, the fund opened an office in New York to better access deals in the US, and to help invest $35 billion stateside in the next five years.

The news of the talks comes as Starwood sells off its real estate as it prepares to be snapped up by Marriott International later on this year – a $12.2 billion deal that will create the world’s largest chain.

In addition to the St. Regis brand, which has 58 hotels running or set to open, Starwood’s holdings include the Le Méridien, Sheraton and Westin chains.