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Hilton Grand Vacations to buy Diamond Resorts as leisure travel rebounds

March 10, 2021 8:17 AM EST

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Hilton hotel is seen in Batumi, Georgia, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

(Reuters) - U.S. timeshare operator Hilton Grand Vacations Inc said on Wednesday it would buy Diamond Resorts International Inc for about $1.4 billion, as the hospitality industry readies for a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic blow.

Bookings have bounced back from April 2020 lows on a relative easing of lockdowns, while a wider rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to support a rebound in leisure travel.

Timeshare operators such as HGV and Diamond Resorts, along with vacation rentals firms including Airbnb Inc and Vrbo, stand to benefit from an uptick in leisure travel.

Meanwhile, business travel-reliant hotel chains including Marriott and smaller rival Hilton Worldwide are seen as having a longer path to recovery.

HGV, spun out of Hilton Worldwide in 2017, will buy the Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc, Reverence Capital Partners and others in an all-stock deal.

Orlando-based HGV, which develops, markets and operates vacation ownership resorts in destinations such as the Hawaiian Islands, New York City and Las Vegas, said the combined company will have 720,000 owners and 154 resorts.

Apollo Funds and other Diamond stockholders will get 34.5 million shares of Hilton Grand Vacations' common stock, subject to customary adjustments, as per the deal.

The transaction is expected to close in the summer of this year, the company said.

Diamond Resorts had been bought by Apollo Global Management for about $2.2 billion in 2016.

BofA Securities is the exclusive financial adviser for HGV, while Credit Suisse is the lead financial adviser and Goldman Sachs the financial adviser for Diamond.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik, Akanksha Rana and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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