Interstate, FFC Capital Acquire 22 Exel Inns

Interstate Hotels & Resorts and FFC Capital Corp. have formed a joint venture, acquired 22 Exel Inns, and converted each to various Wyndham Worldwide brands.A hotel operator that has undertaken a strategic plan to grow by developing a portfolio of properties owned individually and through joint ventures, Interstate has taken a 10 percent equity position in the 22 properties. The Interstate equity includes the company’s share of capital improvements for re-branding, re-imaging, and repositioning the hotels. Interstate will also manage the properties. “We have been using this ownership and joint venture strategy since 2005,” Carrie McIntyre, senior vice president and treasurer with Interstate, told CPN Online today. “Our goal then was to get about 50 percent of EBITDA from owned properties, which is where we are now. “So in 2008, you will probably see us focusing more on joint ventures and shared third party management contracts. We’ll continue to look at wholly owned opportunities, but very selectively.” Separately, Interstate has signed an agreement with FFC Capital to manage the 202-room Courtyard by Marriott Marlborough in Boston, which serves a number of attractions including the New England Sports Center, Fenway Park, and Gillette Stadium. Previous Interstate joint venture acquisitions include a $207.8 million transaction early last December with Harte Holdings of Cork, Ireland. The deal was for four hotels owned by affiliates of The Blackstone Group. In September of last year, Interstate bought three hotels with the Blackstone Group for $118 million. Including the transaction announced today, Interstate now has ownership interests in 54 hotels and resorts, including seven wholly owned assets. Together with these properties, the company and its affiliates manage a total of 218 hospitality properties with approximately 45,500 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Russia. The company also has contracts to manage properties with 4,800 rooms that are now in the construction pipeline.