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Liberty Group buys five hotels

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  • | 3:20 p.m. June 20, 2014
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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TAMPA — Liberty Group has acquired five InterContinental Hotels Group properties throughout the southeastern United States.

“Expanding on our long-standing relationship with InterContinental Hotels Group, we are thrilled to add more than 600 guest rooms in strong geographies to our growing portfolio,” Punit Shah, CEO of Tampa-based Liberty Group, says in a press release. “The acquisitions represent strategic investments, where we can meet our return objectives through leveraging our proven managerial expertise, economies of scale and favorable capital structure.”

Four of the hotels were acquired through the Liberty Hospitality Fund I LLC. The fifth, a Tallahassee hotel, was acquired separately. Terms of the acquisitions weren't disclosed.

The purchased hotels include the 108-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Bonita Springs; 123-room extended-stay Candlewood Suites in Charleston, S.C.; 97-room Candlewood Suites in Athens, Ga.; 125-room Candlewood Suites in Bluffton/Hilton Head, S.C.; and 150-room Holiday Inn & Applebee's Bar & Grill in Tallahassee.

Each of the hotels will undergo significant capital improvements. The new ownership will self-manage all the properties. Liberty Group plans to rebrand the Holiday Inn & Applebee's Bar & Grill, which lost its flag prior to the sale, as the Ramada Plaza Tallahassee Capitol Hill hotel. The other properties will remain with their existing brands.

Liberty Group has acquired 27 distressed hotels directly from special servicers or lenders since 2010. The most recent five hotels weren't financially distressed, Liberty Group officials say. Fully capitalized early this year, Liberty Hospitality Fund I LLC will deploy $75 million toward hotel acquisitions over the next three years.

InterContinental Hotels Group is the largest hotel company in the world, with more than 4,600 properties. Brands include Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, EVEN, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Hualuxe, InterContinental and Staybridge Suites.



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