|By Willoughby Mariano, The Orlando
Sentinel, Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Business News
Jan. 19, 2007 - Orlando-based CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. -- one of the country's largest real-estate investment trusts -- has agreed to be acquired for $6.6 billion by Morgan Stanley Real Estate, company officials said early today.
The sale includes eight luxury properties across the United States -- including The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando at the Grande Lakes Resort.
"This acquisition is a unique opportunity to acquire eight top-quality resort properties diversified across key U.S. travel destinations," Michael Franco, managing director with Morgan Stanley Real Estate, said in a statement. "We believe that these types of luxury hotels are extremely hard to replicate and will exhibit excellent future growth from increased corporate group travel and leisure travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience."
It was unclear early today whether the acquisition will affect any jobs in Orlando.
CNL Hotels & Resorts is a spinoff of CNL Financial Group, which is among the largest companies based in Central Florida.
Morgan Stanley Real Estate, formed in 1969, manages $60.5 billion in real-estate assets on behalf of clients.
Executives were ironing out final details late Thursday night and announced the sale to the Orlando Sentinel shortly after midnight.
"We believe our ability to acquire great real estate, particularly focused in the luxury and upper-upscale segments, along with our dedication to strong asset management, positioned the company for this opportunity to deliver value to our shareholders," Thomas J. Hutchison III, CNL Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $20.50 per share in cash for CNL Hotels & Resorts, which amounts to $6.6 billion for all outstanding common stock and the assumption of outstanding debt.
The sale is subject to the approval of CNL Hotels & Resorts' shareholders and expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.
CNL Hotels & Resorts will sell 51 properties to Ashford Hospitality Trust for about $2.4 billion before the transaction with Morgan Stanley Real Estate.
CNL Financial Group was founded in 1973 and holds more than $19 billion in assets, ranging from hotels to retail and amusement parks and bills itself as one of the nation's largest real-estate investment and development companies. Its offices are adjacent to Orlando City Hall downtown.
Willoughby Mariano can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5171.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.
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