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Ashford Seeks to Buy FelCor … and More

(January / February 2017) posted on Mon Feb 27, 2017

News for the week of February 27, 2017


HEADLINE ITEM
Ashford Hospitality Trust has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire FelCor Lodging Trust, a deal that would create the third largest pure-play lodging REIT by value, with a portfolio of 159 properties and 36,657 keys, according to Ashford.

In its response, FelCor said the proposal follows several months of talks with Ashford “in an effort to explore the possibility that a mutually beneficial transaction could be reached” but so far, “the parties have not been able to reach mutually agreeable terms.”

Ashford also nominated seven independent directors for election to FelCor’s board. Felcor said it is reviewing those nominations and will “make a recommendation to shareholders in due course,” according to FelCor.

The company’s bid to acquire its fellow Texas-based hotel investor is for $9.27 per share, or $1.27 billion, the Dallas Business Journal reports.

In related news, Ashford’s board recently promoted Douglas Kessler to ceo. Kessler has been with the trust since August 2003, serving as its president since 2009.

HIRINGS/PROMOTIONS/EXECUTIVE CHANGES
SIXTY Hotels has hired Kevin Osterhaus as president. Osterhaus’ 22-year hospitality career includes stints with such brands as Bunkhouse Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, ClubCorp and Destination Club Management. He was most recently executive vice president, operations for Standard Intl.



Osterhaus
Kevin Osterhaus. Photo: Courtesy of SIXTY Hotels

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels lifestyle brand has expanded employee Blake Smith's role from director of entertainment for its Chicago property to executive director of entertainment for the flag. Prior to joining the hotelier, Smith served as global marketing director for Hard Rock Intl.

Smith 
Blake Smith. Photo: Courtesy of Virgin Hotels

Carnegie has promoted Erika Gaies to executive vice president of sales. Gaies joined the textile manufacturer in 2011 as an Illinois sales representative and was subsequently named vice president of sales.

Gaies
Erika Gaies. Photo: Courtesy of Carnegie

Wynn Resorts has appointed Craig Billings as chief financial officer. Billings’ experience includes leadership positions at Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., International Game Technology and the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs. He replaces Stephen Cootey, who’s held financial positions at Wynn since 2014 and is leaving the company to pursue other interests.


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