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Private Investmant Partnership Acquires Award-Winning Caneel Bay

May 11, 2004

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the premier manager of ultra-luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world, announced that Equis Financial Group and Roebling Advisors LLC, in partnership with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, have acquired the renowned Caneel Bay Resort from Deutsche Bank. As part of the transaction, Rosewood has entered into a long-term contract to manage the property, and has made an investment in the property.

"We are thrilled that Caneel Bay will remain in the Rosewood family of unique and treasured hotels and resorts the world over," declared John Scott, President & Chief Executive Officer, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. "Rosewood has a deep and long-standing relationship with this historic property and we are dedicated to preserving the service and product that Caneel Bay guests have experienced since its opening in 1956. Caneel Bay, within a 5,000-acre Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, remains faithful to the vision of founder Laurance Rockefeller and to his reverence for the environment."

The resort was purchased by CBI Acquisition LLC, whose principal shareholders and investors include, Gary D. Engle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Equis Financial Group, Howard F. Guja, President and Chief Executive Officer of Roebling Advisors LLC, who has been involved with some of the nation's largest residential and commercial real estate transactions, and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

"For almost 50 years, Caneel Bay has remained one of the most revered resorts in the world and we are honored to become a part of the resort's history," said Howard F. Guja. "We not only look forward to carrying on the long standing tradition of service and style that marks the resort, but also to investing in the resort to ensure that the property enjoys the same success in the coming decades as it has in the past," said Gary D. Engle.

Contacts

Meg Byrne
Nike Communications
35 East 21st, New York, NY 10010
mbyrne@nikecomm.com
Telephone: 212.529.3400
Facsimile: 212.353.0175

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Caneel Bay's New Owners Plan Smooth Transition

May 15, 2004
By Tim Fields


Daily News Photo by Sean McCoy

ST. THOMAS - St. John-based CBI Acquisition LLC purchased the luxury Caneel Bay Resort on St. John in a multimillion-dollar deal this week.

CBI Acquisition's purchase of the 166-room luxury hotel from New York-based Deutsche Bank will not affect the 450 employees, Brian Young, the resort's general manager, said Friday.

"We will work very hard to make this a seamless transition," he said.

The principals of CBI Acquisition are Howard Guja, president and chief executive officer of New York-based Roebling Advisors LLC; Gary Engle, president and chief executive officer of Connecticut-based Equis Financial Group; and Dallas-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Details of the deal were not immediately available Friday.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has managed Caneel Bay Resorts since 1993. Rosewood manages a number of hotels throughout the United States, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and British Columbia.

Rosewood also manages two hotels in the Caribbean: Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda and Jumby Bay on Antigua.

Rosewood has entered into a long-term contract with CBI Acquisitions to continue managing the property.

"Rosewood has a deep and long-standing relationship with this historic property, and we are dedicated to preserving the service and product that Caneel Bay guests have experienced since its opening in 1956," John Scott, president and chief executive officer of Rosewood, said in a released statement.

Laurance Rockefeller founded Caneel Bay Resort, which is in the 5,000-acre Virgin Islands National Park, in 1956.

"Our interest in the property has only deepened, and we remain committed to Rockefeller's vision," Young said.

Rockefeller intended the resort to be a place of spiritual renewal, he said.

CBI Acquisitions' other two principals have been involved in many residential, commercial real estate transactions, according to Rosewood.

Equis Financial Group was formed in 1980 and is a privately held financial services organization. Equis is in the business of acquiring, managing, financing and remarketing of assets.

"We are excited to add Caneel Bay to our company's resort portfolio," Gary Engle, CEO of Equis, said in a release.

Guja of Roebling Advisors is a longtime guest of Caneel Bay Resort, Young said.

"We are honored to become a part of the resort's history," Guja said in a statement.


This article appeared in the The Virgin Islands Daily News.

Download this article in pdf format (232 KB).

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Caneel Bay Resorts Acquired By CBI Acquisition LLC

May 13, 2004

Equis Financial Group and its affiliates announced today that it acquired, through CBI Acquisition LLC, the award winning Caneel Bay, a Rosewood resort on St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, http://www.caneelbay.com.

In addition to Equis, other principal shareholders and investors of CBI Acquisition LLC include Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, who has managed Caneel Bay since 1993, and Howard Guja, President and CEO of Roebling Advisors LLC, who has facilitated some of the largest residential and commercial real estate transactions in the nation.

Caneel Bay offers idyllic seclusion in the 5,000-acre Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John. Set on its own peninsula and bordered on all sides by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Caneel Bay is made up of seven separate beaches, one for each day of the week. Caneel Bay, founded by Laurance Rockefeller, provides an escape for guests to relax and renew.

"We are excited to add Caneel Bay to our company's resort portfolio which includes Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Durango Mountain Resort," said Gary Engle, CEO of Equis. "We are always searching for compliments to our existing investments and Caneel Bay is a great addition to our real estate portfolio which includes extensive real estate holdings in Florida, The Village of Kettle Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada (www.kettlevalley.com), and an exclusive residential development in Malibu, Calif. Along with our investment partners, we look forward to preserving the history of Caneel Bay, while investing in the resort's future." Equis Financial Group is a private equity firm headquartered in Westport, Conn., with business operations in real estate and financial services. During the past 20 years, Equis and its portfolio of companies have acquired, participated in, arranged and advised on transactions in excess of US $2.5 billion.


Press Release can be found at: www.merger.com

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