Joint Venture Between Driftwood Hospitality Management and Apollo Global Real Estate Acquires DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Columbus Downtown

Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:30am EST

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Joint Venture Between Driftwood Hospitality Management and Apollo Global Real Estate Acquires DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Columbus Downtown

-- Partnership Has Acquired Five Hotels Totaling 1,479 Keys in the Past 12 Months --

Driftwood Hospitality Management LLC, and a real estate investment fund managed and advised by affiliates of Apollo Global Real Estate Management, L.P. (together with its subsidiaries, “AGRE”), today announced the acquisition of the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Columbus Downtown (the “DoubleTree Columbus”). This is the fifth property acquired through a joint venture between Driftwood and AGRE formed in July 2011 to focus on purchasing, renovating and reflagging full-service hotels throughout the United States. With this week’s closing on the acquisition of the DoubleTree Columbus, the Driftwood/AGRE partnership has now acquired five hotels totaling 1,479 keys nationwide.

“Our joint venture with Driftwood Hospitality Management has made significant progress towards achieving our strategic goals,” said Coburn Packard, principal of Apollo Global Real Estate. “Since announcing the venture, we have acquired five hotels and are well underway with the renovation of three of these hotels. We continue to find attractive, risk-adjusted investments in the U.S. hospitality market and working with Driftwood, a best-in-class operator, we are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.”

“Our business plan for growth is to opportunistically acquire underperforming assets in secondary markets,” said David Buddemeyer, President of Driftwood Hospitality Management. “Our joint venture with Apollo allows us to match strong brands in good locations with repositioning capital and operating talent, maximizing value for our customers and investors. We are optimistic about the coming year and plan to continue growing our footprint nationally.”

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Columbus Downtown, Columbus, Ohio

The DoubleTree Columbus, which will continue operating under the DoubleTree flag as part of Driftwood’s management collection, features 194 guestrooms and 2,600 square feet of function space. The property is within walking distance of the State Capitol, Ohio Supreme Court and Columbus City Hall, making it an ideal location for business travelers. It is a 15-minute drive to the Port Columbus International Airport and nearby attractions, including the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Zoo and the Franklin Park Conservatory. Driftwood’s renovation plans include upgrades to the current guestrooms and the on-property restaurant.

In addition to the acquisition of the DoubleTree Columbus, the Driftwood/AGRE joint venture recently acquired the Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (the “Sheraton North Houston”).

Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas

The Sheraton North Houston, which will continue operation under the Sheraton flag as part of Driftwood’s portfolio, features 420 guestrooms and 30,000 square feet of flexible function space, including an 8,750-square-foot ballroom. The property has two restaurants and is equipped with a business center, fitness center and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It is within one mile of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the U.S.’s tenth busiest airport in terms of total passengers. The property is in close proximity to the Greenspoint submarket of Houston, an important hub of Houston’s current energy industry expansion, with a strategic location at the intersection of major highways. Driftwood plans a complete renovation of the Sheraton North Houston, including an upgrade to the hotel’s guestrooms, lobby, function space and on-property restaurants.

The DoubleTree Columbus and Sheraton North Houston properties join the three additional hotels acquired by the Driftwood/AGRE joint venture over the past 12 months, which include the 400-room Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio; the 217-room DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Wilmington Legal District, in Wilmington, Delaware; and the 249-room Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. All three of these properties are in various stages of renovation and repositioning.

About Driftwood Hospitality Management

Based in North Palm Beach, Fla., Driftwood Hospitality Management, LLC is a leader in providing solutions-based services for the domestic and international hotel industry. Guided by The Driftwood Difference – Flexibility, Diversity, Integrity, Accessibility, Originality, the company covers the full spectrum of lodging business needs. From full-service, upscale and upper-upscale hotels to mid-size extended-stay, select and limited-service properties, Driftwood’s portfolio represents virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. Focused on strategic acquisition, development, third-party management, asset management and receivership, Driftwood has extensive management experience and relationships with most major brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc., Carlson, Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide. With offices in Costa Rica, Scottsdale, Ariz. and Miami, Fla., the company and its hotels have received more than 20 industry awards in the past three years.

About Apollo Global Management

Apollo Global Management (“Apollo”) (NYSE: APO) is a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, London, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mumbai. As of September 30, 2012, Apollo had assets under management of approximately $110 billion in its private equity, credit-oriented capital markets and real estate funds invested across a core group of nine industries, including commodities, where Apollo has considerable knowledge and resources. For more information about Apollo, please visit www.agm.com.

Apollo Global Real Estate is a fully integrated operating division of Apollo that sources, underwrites and structures investments in commercial real estate assets, companies and operating platforms through its multi-disciplinary team of real estate investment professionals. Apollo Global Real Estate’s investment professionals manage more than $8.1 billion in real estate assets as of September 30, 2012.

For investor inquiries regarding Apollo:
Apollo Global Management, LLC
Gary M. Stein, 212-822-0467
Head of Corporate Communications
gstein@apollolp.com
or
For media inquiries regarding Apollo:
Rubenstein Associates, Inc. for Apollo Global Management, LLC
Charles Zehren, 212-843-8590
czehren@rubenstein.com
or
For media inquiries regarding Driftwood Hospitality Management:
M. Silver Associates
Samantha Jacobs, 954-765-3636
Driftwood@msilver-pr.com