Blackstone Sells DiamondRock Hotels, Wins Stake in Hotel Company

DiamondRock Hospitality Co. has agreed to buy four hotels from The Blackstone Group for $495 million in an off-market deal that also calls for Blackstone to take a $75 million stake in DiamondRock.

DiamondRock Hospitality Co.  has agreed to buy four hotels from The Blackstone Group for about $495 million in an off-market deal that also calls for Blackstone to take a $75 million stake in DiamondRock.

The portfolio comprises the Hilton Boston, the Westin Washington, D.C., the Westin San Diego and the Hilton Burlington in Vermont and is being acquired from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI. DiamondRock is paying about $339,000 per key for the four hotels with a total of 1,462 rooms. The four hotels totaled about $35.7 million in revenues for the first five months of 2012, according to the company.

DiamondRock, a Bethesda, Md.-based hotel REIT, plans to pay for the acquisition with a combination of cash, stock and borrowing from its senior unsecured credit facility.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to DiamondRock.

“We are excited to acquire these four high-quality hotels from affiliates of Blackstone in an off-market deal and equally pleased that Blackstone is taking a $75 million ownership stake in DiamondRock as part of this transaction,” said Mark Brugger, DiamondRock’s CEO. “We believe that these four hotels with higher RevPAR and EBITDA margins than those of our existing assets will enhance the overall quality of our portfolio.”

“We believe in the continued lodging recovery and are excited about receiving an ownership stake in the company,” said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone.

He said DiamondRock was “a company with solid assets and a strong management team led by Mark Brugger.”

Once the deal closes this month, DiamondRock will own 27 premium hotels with about 11,900 rooms. Most of its hotels are operated under the Hilton, Westin and Marriott brands.

The portfolio acquisition comes about a year after DiamondRock bought the Radisson Lexington Hotel in midtown Manhattan for $355 million from a partnership consisting of The Blackstone Group L.P., Whitehall Street Real Estate L.P. XII, Oxford Capital Partners, Inc. and Goldman Sachs. More recently, DiamondRock sold a three-hotel portfolio to Inland American Lodging Group for $262.5 million, or about $184,600 per key. Those hotels were the Renaissance Arboretum in Austin, the Renaissance Waverly in Atlanta and the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Ky.

New York-based Blackstone has been on a buying spree recently, including its $1.9 billion acquisition of the Motel 6 chain from Accor SA in May. It used a completed $10 billion real estate fund to finance that deal.