Hyatt Hotels Corp. plans to buy resort company Apple Leisure Group from its private-equity owners for $2.7 billion.
The deal for the company, which is owned by KKR & Co. and travel-and-leisure specialist KSL Capital Partners LLC, was announced Sunday after The Wall Street Journal reported it was imminent.
The transaction is the latest sign of optimism about a return to vacation travel even as the U.S. economy continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Like many travel-related companies, Apple Leisure’s business got clobbered by virus-related lockdowns and travel bans last year, but it has rebounded as restrictions have loosened.
For Chicago-based Hyatt, one of the world’s biggest hospitality companies, the deal would bolster its already considerable resort-management portfolio and give it one of the biggest U.S. providers of charter flights and vacation packages for travel to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Caribbean.
It also would accelerate Hyatt’s transformation, long under way, to a more asset-light business model, focusing on generating an ongoing stream of steady and predictable fees.