By Leon Worden/SCVNEWS.com
Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based private equity firm that once owned the commercial property assets of The Newhall Land and Farming Co., has purchased the Embassy Suites hotel in Valencia and 63 other hotels across the country from Innkeepers USA Trust of southern Florida.
Cerberus made the purchase in partnership with Chatham Lodging Trust, a Florida-based real estate investment trust.
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According to Chatham, which holds a 10.3 percent interest, the gross purchase price for all 64 hotels was $1.02 billion, including the assumption of approximately $675 million of mortgage debt on 45 of the hotels. The other 19 hotels are unencumbered.
The acuisition involves 8,329 rooms at a price of roughly $118,000 per room.
Chatham said it will provide asset management services to the joint venture, and all operating costs will be paid by the joint venture.
All but one hotel will continue to be managed by Island Hospitality Management, a hotel management company that is 90 percent owned by Jeffrey H. Fisher, Chatham’s chief executive officer and president.
Chatham currently owns 18 hotels with an aggregate of 2,414 rooms in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
Chaired by former Bush Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, Cerberus is one of the largest private investment companies in the United States and made headlines when it purchased and then liquidated a controlling interest in Chrysler. It still controls the former GMAC.
In 2004, Cerberus bought LNR, the commercial property investment company that had spun off from Miami-based Lennar Corp. At the time, Lennar and LNR each owned half of Newhall Land through a holding company, LandSource Communities Development LLC, which later declared bankruptcy. Newhall Land was the developer of the Valencia Industrial Center where the Embassy Suites hotel is located.