Ryman Hospitality Backs Out of Deal to Purchase Austin City Limits Property

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Ryman Hospitality has backed out of a $275 million deal to purchase a mixed-use property that includes the 2,500-seat Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. On May 22, Ryman Hospitality announced that it had terminated its agreement with Stratus Properties, Inc. to purchase the Block 21 mixed-use development in Austin.

“In the current capital markets and economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of our shareholders to focus our resources and capital on this project at this time," said chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties Colin Reed in a release. "We sincerely regret that the current circumstances do not permit us to complete the acquisition. We commend Stratus on their successful development of the Block 21 complex, and we know that it will have continued success when its businesses are able to return to full strength at the end of this global pandemic.”

In December, the Nashville-based Ryman closed a public stock offering that raised money for its planned $275 million Block 21 acquisition. Block 21’s current owner, Stratus Properties, revealed last year that the purchase price included roughly $142 million of existing mortgage debt that Ryman would assume. The deal was expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

As a result of the termination of the deal, Ryman Hospitality will forfeit its nonrefundable deposit of $15 million provided to Stratus as part of the purchase agreement.

Completed in 2010, Block 21 is a shopping and cultural center in Austin's 2nd Street District. The 37-story building features an entire city block of mixed-use development including the W Austin Hotel & Residences.

Ryman owns the Grand Ole Opry and the Opryhouse venue; legendary country radio station WSM AM; two venues in downtown Nashville, the iconic Ryman Auditorium and Wildhorse Saloon; and Ole Red, a venue/bar/restaurant created with country singer Blake Shelton.

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