Private-equity fund, Blackstone Group, the top hotel owner in the Americas
In 2005/2006 the largest private-equity fund in the world, Blackstone Group, ranked first in the top hotel owners in the Americas according to a report on hotel ownership produced by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Blackstone Group owns a combined 150,000 rooms, with the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Host Hotels and Resorts (previously Host Marriott Corp.) ranked second with 48,785 rooms.
Blackstone Group acquired five hotels in 2006, including the purchase of the hotel REIT MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (which owns 57 hotels under the Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Doubletree and Radisson brands in the US) for US$2.6 billion. In 2005 Blackstone bought Wyndham International hotel group for US$1.44 billion and subsequently sold the brand and franchise system to Cendant. In Europe, Blackstone recently bought the Hospitality Europe hotel group for US$790 million.