DALLAS—Ashford Hospitality Trust announced that the company’s Board of Directors approved a plan to spin-off an 80 percent ownership interest in an eight-hotel portfolio, totaling 3,146 rooms. Ashford Prime is expected to qualify as a real estate investment trust (REIT) for federal income tax purposes, and intends to file an application to list its shares of common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol “AHP.” The portfolio will consist of the company’s highest RevPAR-performing hotels and the new REIT will focus primarily on investing in upscale properties.
“We are constantly searching for ways to maximize stockholder value,” said Monty J. Bennett, chairman and chief executive officer of Ashford Trust. “Over the past year, we have made a concerted effort to improve our transparency and communications with the investor and analyst community regarding our historical total stockholder return, our debt management strategy, and asset performance by debt pool. After analyzing several strategies to maximize stockholder value, the Board decided to pursue a spin-off of Ashford Prime.”
Ashford Prime will have a focused strategy to invest primarily in high RevPAR hotels located predominantly in domestic and international gateway markets. The initial portfolio will consist of the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., Marriott Plano Legacy Town Center, Seattle Marriott Waterfront, Courtyard San Francisco Downtown, Courtyard Seattle Downtown, Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown, and Renaissance Tampa International Plaza. The new REIT will focus primarily on luxury, upper-upscale, and upscale hotels anticipated to generate RevPAR at least twice the national average.