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Hard Rock Aims to Raise $250 Million for Lodging Business

Hard Rock International Inc., the operator of hotels, casinos, and themed bars, is in talks with investors to raise $250 million to expand its lodging business.

“We can go to cities that we feel are important to the strategic growth of the hotel platform, Executive Vice President Michael Shindler, executive vice president, said in an interview. “Without the capital, some of the deal opportunities that might come to us might not be precisely in the market that we want to be in.”

The Orlando, Florida-based company, owned by the Seminole Indian tribe, is planning to expand in 50 markets, Shindler said. Cities include London, where the first Hard Rock Cafe was opened in 1971, as well as Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai.

“We are always looking to create a capital base where we have a little bit more control of our own destiny in terms of new transactions, acquisitions of hotels or investment in hotels,” Shindler said by phone on July 2.

Hard Rock International’s discussions with investors are in early stages and focused on creating a fund in which it would be a partial investor, Shindler said. The capital raised would help the company borrow against the fund’s assets, he said. Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Properties, a unit of government-controlled Aabar Investments PJSC, last month said it will build a five-star, 378-room hotel to be managed by Hard Rock.

The company’s Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos unit has 16 properties around the world including hotels in Bali, Panama City, Singapore and San Diego. Occupancy rates at Hard Rock hotels are on average more than 75 percent, Shindler said.

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