The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is poised to become a royal-owned resort befitting its royal moniker. Fairmont Hotels & Resort stockholders voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to sell their shares to Kingdom Hotels International in a deal valued at an estimated $3.9 billion.
Canadian-based Fairmont is parent of the 651-room Scottsdale resort and 87 other hotel properties.
But debt holders who own about $145 million worth of the hotel company’s notes said they will try to stop the deal or extract more cash from the transaction. They get to plead their case in court Thursday.
The note holders lodging the complaint — Greywolf Capital Management, Whitebox Advisors, Tenor Capital Management, Lydian Asset Management and Ramius Capital Group — say their contracts include the right to convert debt to Fairmont shares in 2009 — an option that would be lost in the sale of the company. Fairmont said it plans to convert the debt held by these investors into the same cash consideration per share received by stockholders. The note holders claim they should get more.
Fairmont said in a statement following the vote Tuesday that the sale is expected to be completed in May, but a court battle could derail or delay that.
Kingdom is owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia and his family.
As part of the deal, Kingdom is partnering with Colony Capital, owner of the exclusive Raffles Hotels & Resorts, which includes 33 luxury properties in world capitals such as Singapore, Montreaux, Switzerland, and also in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Kingdom and Capital said in January they plan to combine ownership of the two chains into a $5.5 billion hotel empire.
But fans of the sprawling 450-acre Scottsdale resort shouldn’t worry about the prince changing the Princess.
“We don’t expect any changes to either our name or guest experience,” said Jennifer Franklin, resort spokeswoman.