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The Lightstone Group to Acquire Extended Stay Hotels (683 properties)
from the Blackstone Group for $8 Billion
NEW YORK - April 18, 2007 - The Lightstone Group, LLC, one of the largest private real estate owners in the country, announced today that an affiliate has entered into an agreement with affiliates of The Blackstone Group to acquire Extended Stay Hotels for $8 billion. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in approximately two months. 

Extended Stay Hotels is the largest owner of mid-price extended-stay properties in the United States, with 683 properties and approximately 76,000 units located in 44 states and Canada. The company currently operates under five brands in the extended-stay segment: Extended Stay Deluxe, Extended Stay America, Homestead Studio Suites, StudioPlus and Crossland. 

“This was a perfect opportunity for The Lightstone Group to expand its growing portfolio into the hotel industry and acquiring Extended Stay Hotels immediately puts us in a leadership position within the extended stay market,” said David Lichtenstein, chairman and CEO of the Lightstone Group. “This transaction is consistent with our strategy of acquiring companies with outstanding brand identity and bringing the necessary resources to unlock long term value.” 

Integral to the completion of this deal for the Lightstone Group was Joshua Kornberg, director of acquisitions, Michael M. Schurer, CFO, and Joseph E. Teichman, General Counsel. 

Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., Blackstone Corporate Advisory, Banc of America Securities and Merrill Lynch & Co. acted as financial advisors to Blackstone. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal advisor to Extended Stay Hotels and Blackstone. Citi, Wachovia, and Lehman Brothers Inc. acted as financial advisors to Lightstone Group, while Dechert LLP acted as legal advisor. 

About The Lightstone Group 
In less than twenty years, The Lightstone Group has grown into one of the largest private owners of real estate in the United States. Founded by David Lichtenstein in 1988, the company currently owns a portfolio of diversified properties in 25 states plus District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, spanning in excess of 20,000 apartments and in excess of 30 million square feet of commercial and retail space. In the last year alone, The Lightstone Group has completed $2 billion in acquisitions. Headquartered in Lakewood, New Jersey, The Lightstone Group has over 1,500 employees and maintains regional offices in New York, Maryland, Illinois and New Jersey. For more information on The Lightstone Group, call 800-347-4078 or visit www.lightstonegroup.com

About The Blackstone Group 
The Blackstone Group is a leading global alternative asset manager and provider of financial advisory services. The Blackstone Group is one of the largest independent alternative asset managers in the world. Its alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate opportunity funds, funds of hedge funds, mezzanine funds, senior debt funds, proprietary hedge funds and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. 
 

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Contact:

Michael J. LaCosta
908-781-6420
michaelj@beckermanpr.com 

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Also See: The Combination of Extended Stay America and Homestead Village Will Create a Dominant Force in Extended-stay Lodging, New Company Will Have 31% of the Extended Stay Market / March 2004
Extended Stay America Notifies 82 Corporate Employees of Job Loss Pending Shareholder Approval of Sale to the Blackstone Group / April 2004
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