Blackstone Group is the owner of Hilton Worldwide, La Quinta and Extended Stay America hotel chains and one of the biggest real estate owners in the U.S. The company is reported to be seeking a buyer for La Quinta hotels or a possible public offering.
Blackstone bought La Quinta Inn for $2.3 billion in 2006. The company expanded the midscale hotel brand to more than 800 hotels. Blackstone now values La Quinta at around $4.5 billion.
Blackstone also plans to sell its shares in Extended Stay America valued at $3 to $4 billion. Blackstone with two partners bought Extended Stay America out of bankruptcy for $3.9 billion in 2010 and spent more than $400 million to upgrade the chain.
In 2007 Blackstone acquired Hilton Worldwide for $18 billion plus $7 billion in assumed debt. Industry analysts expect Blackstone to file IPO plans for Hilton by year-end.
Blackstone is a New York private equity firm with a $13.3 billion global property fund. Some analysts think the commercial property real estate market is hitting its peak value before higher interest rates hit the market. Commercial real estate values have climbed 68% since 2009.
Blackstone Group is the largest owner of hotel rooms in the U.S. with about 200,000 rooms.
Of course, the question for this loyalty traveler is what the impact will be on Hilton HHonors if the chain becomes a publicly traded company?
Story Source: Wall Street Journal August 6 – Blackstone prepares to sell La Quinta Hotels
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.