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Claret Capital, a Dublin, Ireland private investment firm, Acquires
90% Interest in the St. Regis Hotel, Washington D.C.

Transaction Highlights 
• Acquisition of super-luxury, 5 star St Regis Hotel – the prime hotel asset in Washington D.C. 
• Follows a USD 80 million investment and refurbishment programme 
• Unique investment opportunity - significant barriers to entry & asset with scarcity value. 
DUBLIN, Ireland & WASHINGTON - September 19, 2007 - Claret Capital, the private investment firm based in Dublin, Ireland, today announced that it has executed a purchase and sale agreement for the acquisition of a 90% interest in the renowned 5 star St. Regis Hotel in Washington D.C. The St. Regis was acquired in an off-market transaction from a joint venture between Brickman, a New York based real estate private equity firm, and New Valley LLC. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Claret Capital was advised on the acquisition by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the world's leading hotel investment services firm. 

The acquisition follows a USD 80 million, two year investment and refurbishment programme which is nearing completion. The St. Regis will re-open for business in the fourth quarter of 2007. 

The St. Regis hotel is operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts through its St. Regis brand. Starwood is one of the world’s leading hotel and leisure companies with approximately 870 properties under management in more than 100 countries. 

Amelia Lim, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, commented, “We are pleased to have been the advisor to Claret Capital on the acquisition of the St. Regis Washington. It will be the pre-eminent super-luxury hotel in the nation’s capital combining a unique location with best-in-class facilities under a world famous brand.” 

She added, “On opening, it is anticipated that the St. Regis Washington will be the city’s flagship ‘grande dame’ hotel, equal in status to the renowned St. Regis Hotel in New York.” 

Dómhnal Slattery, Managing Partner, Claret Capital, commented, “We are delighted to announce the successful completion of this transaction. We are acquiring a prime asset in one of the leading hotel markets in North America. This is a unique investment opportunity - assets of this quality and reputation have a scarcity value as they rarely come to market.” 

He concluded, “This transaction provides Claret Capital with geographic diversity and exposure to, what we consider to be, a highly attractive asset class. It is an opportune time to invest in the US market where we see significant value.” 

About St. Regis 
The St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C. is an elegant hotel located in Washington’s central business district and just two blocks from The White House. The St. Regis was originally opened in 1926 by then US President, Calvin Coolidge. The hotel is built in the style of an Italian Renaissance Palace and is recognised as the most prestigious hotel in the US capital. The property is ideally situated for corporate, leisure and government travellers in one of the world’s leading business and tourist destinations. Following the extensive investment and refurbishment programme, the super-luxury hotel will house 183 rooms, 33 of which are suites, and 9,675 square feet of meeting facilities. The refurbished St. Regis will also feature a Remède Spa, a brand which is exclusive to St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. 
In addition, the St. Regis will offer world-class restaurant and bar facilities consistent with the hotel’s super-luxury offering. The restaurant and bar will be run and managed by a world renowned 3 Michelin star chef. 

About Claret Capital 
Claret Capital, founded by Dómhnal Slattery in 2005, is a private investment firm based in Dublin, Ireland. Claret Capital manages the assets of a small number of ultra high net worth individuals and families and has a global investment mandate. The firm has completed investments in the Private Equity, Real Estate, Media and Technology sectors. Claret Capital has also founded a number of new ventures including JetBird, Europe's first low-cost, on-demand private jet airline. JetBird has ordered 100 aircraft from Embraer and is the launch customer in Europe for the Phenom 100 very light jet. Claret Capital has also founded Blue Ocean Wireless, a company focused on expanding communication capability in the merchant maritime sector. Blue Ocean Wireless provides, for the first time, GSM connectivity for seafarers in deep ocean water, where no other network exists. 

About Brickman 
Brickman is a real estate private equity firm that invests with the perspective and insight of an owner-operator. Since 1992, the firm has invested in excess of USD 2.5 billion of total capital in more than 54 real estate transactions throughout the United States. Brickman owns and operates all property types, applies opportunistic and core investment strategies, and invests across the entire capital structure of real estate assets. 

About New Valley LLC 
New Valley LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Miami-based holding company Vector Group Ltd., is engaged in the real estate business and is seeking to acquire additional real estate properties and operating companies. 

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Contact:

K Capital Source
Mark Kenny/Jonathan Neilan, +353 1 631 5500
claret@kcapitalsource.com 

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Also See: Starwood Sells the 193-room St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C. for $47 million; Hotel Will Remain in the St. Regis Portfolio, Acquired by Joint Venture of Brickman Associates and New Valley Corporation / August 2005
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