Blackstone, Starwood Kick Off Massive CMBS Sale for Hotel Deal

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A joint venture between Blackstone Group Inc. and Starwood Capital Group is financing its acquisition of Extended Stay America Inc. via a massive commercial mortgage-backed securities offering this week, one of the largest single-loan CMBS deals in a decade.

The $4.65 billion so-called single-asset, single-borrower (SASB) CMBS securitizes a loan originated by JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank to fund most of Blackstone and Starwood’s roughly $6 billion acquisition of Extended Stay’s 560 hotels located throughout 40 states.

Extended Stay’s shareholders approved the bid on June 11 to purchase the company at $20.50 per share. The portfolio of hotels comprises 62,257 guest rooms, according to a presale report from Fitch Ratings, who along with Moody’s Investors Service and Kroll Bond Ratings assigned AAA ratings to the two senior tranches of the structure.

The deal is carved into slices offering investors different levels of risk, though only Kroll rated the tranches below BBB-, with the lowest-ranked rated single-B.

The Extended Stay CMBS is the first SASB deal tied to hotels in nearly a year. Only Blackstone’s $5.6 billion industry-property CMBS debt sale from October 2019 is larger, at least for deals issued since the Great Financial Crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

SASB deals, including several tied to trophy office buildings, have been especially popular this year as they often offer relatively more incremental yield and some have floating rates, which will be advantageous if interest rates rise.

More than $25 billion of SASB CMBS have been sold so far this year, outpacing the $13.4 billion in so-called multiborrower conduits, which are made up of dozens of diverse loans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Typically conduits have been the dominant type of CMBS, so this year marks a reversal.

Extended Stay, which caters to construction crews, emergency responders, and other long-term guests, was mostly insulated from a historically bad year for the global lodging industry.

The chain has been resilient compared to the overall hospitality sector. U.S. hotel industry revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the first quarter of 2021 was down 41.9% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, the last pre-pandemic quarter, according to data from STR Inc. Yet the Extended Stay portfolio’s RevPAR declined only 6.4% during this time, according to Fitch Ratings.

Blackstone and Starwood, run by founder and chief executive officer Barry Sternlicht, contributed about $1.64 billion toward the acquisition, which represents 26.5% of the estimated total transaction cost of $6.2 billion, Fitch said.

Blackstone is no stranger to Extended Stay. It first acquired the company in 2004 and sold it three years later. It was part of an investor group that bought the company out of bankruptcy in 2010 and took it public in 2013.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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