Hotel real estate firms make three-way deal

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Ashford Hospitality Trust signed a definitive agreement to acquire a portfolio of 51 hotels from CNL Hotels and Resorts in a $2.4 billion transaction.

The portfolio became available due to a $6.6 billion deal announced Jan. 19, in which CNL Hotels agreed to be acquired by Morgan Stanley Real Estate. Under terms of the acquisition, CNL shareholders will get $20.50 per share.

Morgan Stanley will retain eight of CNL's properties, including three operating under Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria Collection brand: the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui; the La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.; and the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

In December, CNL sold a portfolio of 32 hotels to Whitehall Street Global Real Estate in a $405 million transaction.

The portfolio to be acquired by Ashford includes 24 full-service, upper-upscale hotels with a total of 7,953 rooms under several brands, including Hilton, Embassy Suites, JW Marriott, Marriott, Doubletree, Renaissance and Hyatt.

The Ashford portfolio also includes 27 select-service hotels with a total of 5,571 rooms under several brands, including Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and Hampton Inn.

"This portfolio of well-located and strong-performing assets is one of the best hotel collections we've seen in the past decade, and we are extremely pleased to acquire it with a structure that is accretive to shareholders in the first year of ownership," said Monty Bennett, Ashford's CEO. 

In 2004, Ashford acquired a portfolio of 21 hotels from companies controlled by Fisher Brothers, the Gordon Getty Trust and George Soros.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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