Ko Olina developer sells interest in Four Seasons Resort to Hong Kong’s richest man

Original Article

Hawaii developer The Resort Group has sold its share of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina to its partner in the luxury hotel at Ko Olina Resort, a company owned by the richest man in Hong Kong, for an undisclosed amount.

The sale of The Resort Group’s interest in the hotel to Henderson Land Group closed on Monday. The Resort Group declined to disclose the amount of its interest as well as the price.

“Henderson Land Group, or Intco, became our partner after we acquired and created the Four Seasons Resort Oahu,” Jeff Stone,The Resort Group founder and Ko Olina’s master developer, said in a statement. “It is our hope that Henderson will be a long-term partner and continue the community-based vision for the property.”

Henderson Land Group’s owner is Lee Shau Kee, 92, who is ranked by Forbes as the richest person in Hong Kong with a net worth of $30.4 billion, and No. 26 on the list of the world’s billionaires. His sons, Peter Lee Ka Kit and Martin Lee Ka Shing took over day-to-day operations of the company last year when their father stepped down, according to Forbes.

Stone noted that Lee, as owner of the Henderson and Intco companies, is “now the sole owner of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu, also co-owns the Four Seasons Hong Kong which has safely served guests and retained employees throughout the [Covid-19] pandemic.”

“Now that I have stepped aside and reopened Ko Olina’s lagoons, golf course and marina, I expect the Henderson team will follow suit and ensure Four Seasons’ employees return to work as soon as possible,” Stone said.

Stone bought the hotel, the former JW Marriott Ihilani Resort, with Canada-based Westbank in 2014 from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors LLC for a reported $250 million and spent that much to renovate the property, which reopened as the Four Seasons Resort Oahu in May 2016.

The hotel closed in late March, ahead of the state and the county’s stay-at-home orders, and a reopening date is expected to be announced soon. Its next-door neighbor, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, closed at the same time and is preparing to reopen, in phases, on Nov. 1.

Stone said Four Seasons Resort Oahu has subsidized medical benefits for the more than 800 employees who have been furloughed for seven months.

“The employees are the heart and soul of not just this hotel, but our entire community,” said Stone. “We are extremely proud of what our ohana has accomplished and expect Four Seasons to remain the epitome of luxury accommodations on Oahu and within the state of Hawaii well into the future.”

Ko Olina Resort is implementing health and safety measures to keep employees, residents and visitors safe as the state continues to allow visitors who arrive with a negative Covid-19 test to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine and is aligned with the City and County of Honolulu’s tiered approach to the economic recovery.

Ko Olina Golf Club and Ko Olina Marina are open and operating under the city’s tiers.

“We are doing our very best to assist our resort properties in a manner that will enable them to host visitors safely,” Sweetie Nelson, director of destination marketing for Ko Olina, said in a statement. “The concerns associated with ensuring the health and safety of our resort ohana are immeasurable. Our primary goal is to get our employees back to work safely and in a timely manner.”