Omni Inner Harbor up for sale by Westinghouse financial unit

February 11, 1993|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer

Westinghouse Electric Corp. has put Baltimore's Omni Inner Harbor Hotel up for sale as part of a plan to liquidate Westinghouse Financial Services, the company's troubled investment arm.

The Omni was advertised for sale yesterday in The Sun, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. Sealed bids for the hotel are due April 16, and the buyer, if any, would be announced about five days later, said Jim Peterson, executive vice president of Kenney-Wilson Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based broker.

The 702-room Omni Hotel, at Fayette Street and Hopkins Place, is the largest of 23 hotel properties for sale in that auction, Mr. Peterson said. Not all the properties in the sale are owned by Westinghouse, but it could not be determined yesterday how many the company does own.

Mr. Peterson said the minimum price for the Omni's sale had been set at $16 million. Westinghouse announced late

last year that it would speed the liquidation of its financial services unit, which, because of soured real estate loans and other problems, forced its parent company to write off $2.65 billion last year. The performance of the unit contributed to the downfall of Westinghouse Electric's chairman and chief executive, Paul E. Lego, who resigned last month.

In addition to its national advertising, Kennedy-Wilson is shopping the Omni abroad through the U.S. office of Jones Lang Wootton of London, Mr. Peterson said.

"A lot of international investors believe the U.S. market has bottomed out," he said.

The Omni's general manager was unavailable for comment late yesterday. The Baltimore hotel market generally has been hurt by a fall-off in the number of conventions coming to Baltimore.

Hotel industry spokesmen contend that Baltimore needs an expanded Convention Center to attract the most desirable conventions. The Schaefer administration is supporting a $150 million plan to enlarge the center.

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