Extended Stay America IPO Sets the Bar for Other Lodging IPOs

24/7 Wall St.

Extended Stay America Inc. (STAY) held its initial public offering (IPO) Wednesday morning, selling 28.25 million shares at $20 each. The estimated range for the IPO had been $18 to $21. The offering included a shade more than 14% of the company, giving the hotel chain a valuation of $4 billion. Shares touched $23 shortly after trading began.

The company is owned by Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), Centerbridge Partners and Paulson & Co., which bought the hotel chain out of bankruptcy in 2010. None of the owners is selling any shares, and the proceeds of the offering, about $565 million, will be used to pay down the company's debt.

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This year has been a good one for IPOs, and there are a couple of big ones still to come in the hotel space.

Blackstone has also filed for an early 2014 IPO for its Hilton Worldwide chain. The private equity firm acquired Hilton in 2007 for $25 billion including debt, and then had to scramble to restructure following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. The Hilton IPO is expected to raise $1.25 billion, which will be used to pay down $14 billion in debt.

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Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. (AHT), a real estate investment trust (REIT), plans to spin off Ashford Hospitality Prime later this month. Ashford Prime began trading on November 6 on a "when-issued" basis under the symbols AHP-WI and AHT-WI until the November 19 distribution date. On that date, each Ashford Trust shareholder will receive one share of Ashford Prime stock for every five shares of Ashford Trust held.

Shares of Extended Stay America were up more than 13% in the first half hour of trading to $22.57.

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