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Exclusive: Lehman puts Ritz-Carlton Maui resort up for sale

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lehman Brothers Holdings has put the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Resort, a 54-acre luxury condo and hotel resort in Maui, Hawaii, on the block as it continues to sell off its real estate holdings to pay off creditors, said two sources familiar with the deal.

The sale is expected to fetch more than $200 million, said one source who was not authorized to speak on the record.

The property consists of 297 hotel rooms and 107 condominium units, of which 73 are unsold. It also has indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, a spa, a three-tiered pool, a tennis center, six restaurants, bars and lounges, and access to shopping and golf.

Lehman has hired Jones Lang LaSalle Inc's hotels and hospitality group to market the property.

Since it exited bankruptcy last year, Lehman Brothers has been selling its real estate holdings to pay off creditors. Last month it sold two buildings in Austin, Texas, and two on Park Avenue in New York. Its largest deal by far was the $6.5 billion sale completed in February of Archstone Enterprise LP, an owner of apartments that Lehman helped take private in 2007. The buyout ultimately helped push the investment bank into bankruptcy.

The island of Maui is one of the top luxury hospitality markets in the world; about 20 percent of tourists to Maui come from Asia.

Maui has seen solid growth in its tourist industry, with gains outstripping the general U.S. market. Revenue per available room, a performance metric for hotels, was up 7.9 percent last year in Maui after rising by 13.8 percent in 2011, according to Smith Travel Research. That compared with a 6.8 percent average increase for the United States in 2012, following an 8.2 percent spurt in 2011.

Jones Lang LaSalle is expected to market the property through early summer.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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