April 9, 2014 / 1:55 PM / 4 years ago

Shares of Blackstone-backed La Quinta fall in debut

April 9 (Reuters) - Shares of Blackstone-backed midmarket hotel chain La Quinta Holdings Inc fell as much as 2 percent in their trading debut on Wednesday.

La Quinta raised $650 million from the offering of 38.25 million shares, which priced slightly below the expected range at $17 per share.

La Quinta’s shares opened at $16.75 and touched a low of $16.65 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, valuing the company at $2.04 billion.

Blackstone Group LP did not sell any shares in La Quinta, which owns and operates hotels under the La Quinta Inn & Suites and La Quinta Inns brands.

The IPO marks the third hotel chain offering in the past six months by the private equity firm, the biggest owner of hotels in the United States, as it cashes in on a recovery in the travel industry and a booming stock market.

Blackstone took Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc public in December in the biggest-ever hotel IPO that raised $2.34 billion. In November, the IPO of Extended Stay America Inc raised $566 million.

Shares of both Hilton and Extended Stay, which is co-owned with Centerbridge Partners LP and Paulson & Co, have risen since their IPOs.

La Quinta - which operates or franchises more than 830 hotels in 46 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico - was taken private by Blackstone in 2006 in a $3.4 billion deal.

The hotel chain had about $2.10 billion in debt on a pro forma basis as of Dec. 31.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were lead underwriters for the offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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