The departure of real-estate investment trusts from the hotel-properties market has left private-equity firm HEI Hotels & Resorts with few competitors and an eagerness to pick up the slack with its $515 million Fund III. The company is targeting hotels with 200 to 500 rooms in major Metropolitan Statistical Areas, preferably branded or able to be converted into a brand. "We've got roughly a quarter of a billion dollars of fresh powder [left] to acquire hotels," said Russ Urban, a senior vice president at HEI.

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