By Olivia Oran
Nov 25 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP is eyeing an IPO for La Quinta Inns & Suites rather than a sale of the hotel chain, according to a source familiar with the process.
Blackstone believes La Quinta can attract a higher valuation in the public markets, the source said. Blackstone, the largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, earlier this month saw shares of its Extended Stay America hotel chain soar 19 percent in their first day of trading following an IPO.
Bloomberg reported the La Quinta news earlier on Monday.
Reuters reported earlier that Blackstone was seeking as much as $4.5 billion for the La Quinta chain in an auction that attracted interest from hospitality holding companies such as Choice Hotels International Inc as well as private equity firms.
Blackstone took La Quinta private in 2006 in a $3.4 billion deal.
With more than 550 hotels in 39 states, La Quinta is one of the largest owners and operators of budget hotels in the United States.