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Kyo-ya owner buys out Cerberus, Dickhens steps down

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 6:05 p.m. HST, Feb 6, 2014

Kokusai Kogyo Co,, the parent of Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts LLC, bought out Cerberus Capital Management LP's controlling interest in the company in a deal that closed today in Japan, according to sources close to the deal.

The transaction coincides with an announcement in Honolulu that Greg Dickhens, the president of Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts LLC,  is stepping down to pursue other business interests after more than eight years with the company.

Both of these announcements are of special interest to Hawaii since five of the six hotels owned by the company are in the isles and Dickhens, who represented Cerberus' interests, has been credited with the financial and physical transformation of Kyo-ya and its core Waikiki assets.

Kyo-ya, which employs more than 3,500 workers, owns the Sheraton Waikiki Resort; the Moana Surfrider Hotel, A Westin Resort and Spa; the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort; the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani; the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa; as well as the San Francisco-based The Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel.

The change returns control of Kyo-ya's assets in the isles to a long-time owner Kokusai Holdings K.K., an entity owned and controlled by Takamasa Osano and his family members and affiliates. Prior to the sale, Cerberus owned 55 percent of Kokusai Kogyo and the founding family owned 45 percent. After today's deal, Kokusai owns 100 percent of the company.

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