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Blackstone-Backed La Quinta Files Confidentially for IPO

Blackstone Group LP, capitalizing on rising stock prices and a rebound in hotel occupancies, filed for an initial public offering of its La Quinta Holdings Inc. lodging chain.

La Quinta said in a statement yesterday that it made the filing. The IPO prospectus was prepared under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, which allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to keep applications confidential until shortly before they promote the offering. La Quinta didn’t say how many shares would be sold or at what price.

With the Bloomberg Americas Lodging Index up 55 percent this year, two other Blackstone-owned lodging companies, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Extended Stay America Inc., debuted with strong investor demand. Blackstone, which acquired La Quinta in January 2006 for about $3 billion, explored a sale of the company and opted instead for an IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said in November.

La Quinta operates more than 800 midprice, limited-service hotels with about 80,000 rooms in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to its website. Midscale hotels fared best during the credit crisis and subsequent recession, out of six lodging categories tracked by STR, a Hendersonville, Tennessee-based research firm.

Revenue per available room, a measure of average daily room rates and occupancies, in the midscale category rose 4 percent to $44.23 in the first 10 months of 2013, from a year earlier, according to STR.

Hilton, based in McLean, Virginia, raised $2.7 billion this month in the biggest IPO ever for a lodging company. Its shares have gained about 8 percent since their debut. Extended Stay, which raised $650 million in November, has jumped about 24 percent since then.

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