UPDATE 1-Hotel chain La Quinta valued at $2.1 billion in IPO

Tue Apr 8, 2014 8:42pm EDT

(Adds details, background, shares)

April 8 (Reuters) - The initial public offering of La Quinta Holdings, owned by the Blackstone Group, was priced at $17 per share on Tuesday, valuing the hotel chain at about $2.1 billion

La Quinta's IPO raised $650 million, after its offering of 38.25 million shares was priced below an expected range of $18 to $21 a share.

Irving, Texas-based La Quinta is selling all the shares in the offering.

Shares of the company, which are expected to start trading on Wednesday, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol.

La Quinta in a statement said it expects net proceeds of about $618 million from the offering after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.

JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters for the offering. Other notable underwriters include BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs.

La Quinta is the third hotel chain to be taken public by Blackstone, the world's largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, in the past six months. Blackstone has been aggressively selling or taking public its real estate assets as the U.S. hotel industry has been recovering.

Blackstone, whose stock closed down 2.4 percent at $30.42 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, was initially exploring a sale of La Quinta, which it took private in a $3.4 billion deal in 2006.

Blackstone took Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc public in the biggest-ever hotel IPO in December. It also bought shopping center company Brixmor Property Group Inc and hotel chain Extended Stay America Inc to the market last year.

With more than 830 hotels, La Quinta is one of the largest owners and operators of mid-priced hotels in the United States.

Blackstone, which currently holds about 96 percent stake in La Quinta, will see its stake drop to about 64 percent after the IPO if the underwriters fully exercise their option to buy additional shares.

Net proceeds from the offering would be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes, La Quinta said in its filing.

The company, which first filed confidentially with the SEC for an IPO in December, reported net income of $44.5 million on total revenue of $909 million, on a pro forma basis, in 2013.

(Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty and Avik Das in Bangalore)

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