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Report: Starwood in talks to sell up to $1B worth of NY, Calif. hotels

Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide Inc. is in advanced negotiations to sell itsSt. Regis hotels in San Francisco and New York to the Qatar Investment Authority,Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

The unnamed sources told the news outlet that the luxury hotelassets — the 238-room St. Regis New York at 55th St. and the 260-room St. RegisSan Francisco — may sell for less than their potential value of up to $1 billion.

Starwood, which is in the process of beingacquired by Marriott InternationalInc., has been seeking to unload its remaining real estate ahead ofthe second-quarter merger dealclosing.

The company, in particular, is aiming to divest five U.S. hotels,including the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, the Tremont Chicago Hotel at MagnificentMile and the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Two of the hotels will be to Interval Leisure Group aspart of Starwood's spinoffof its timeshare business, which closing has been pushed back to May from an initial target of April 30. Itis also seeking to off-load its leasehold on a sixth hotel, the W New York - TimesSquare.

Citing Real Capital Analytics Inc., Bloomberg noted that theQatar Investment Authority has roughly $38 billion worth of property investmentsworldwide. Qatar's sovereign wealth fund had previously transacted with Starwoodin 2014 when it acquiredSt. Regis-Rome forroughly $150.7 million through a subsidiary.