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Argonaut Private Equity Takes a 42% Stake in Aimbridge Hospitality;
Alignment Will Make Available $100 million for Acquisition
 of Full-service Hotels

By Karen Robinson-Jacobs, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

June 11, 2010 --Carrollton-based Aimbridge Hospitality, a hotel real estate and management company, said Monday it has created a $100 million fund with a Tulsa private equity firm that will allow it to go after acquisitions as big as $1 billion.

As part of the fund creation, Argonaut Private Equity gains a 42 percent stake in Aimbridge, which manages nine local hotels. Among those are aloft hotels in Plano, Frisco and Las Colinas, which are three of the five area hotels in which Aimbridge has an ownership stake.

Combining the money from the fund with equity from other investors Aimbridge works with would create access to at least $500 million in equity, said Dave Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Aimbridge. That would be enough to pursue more than $1 billion in acquisitions, assuming 50 percent debt, Johnson said.

Aimbridge is looking to acquire more full-service hotels locally and hopes to make an announcement about "two opportunities" within the next 45 days, Johnson said.

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