Industry Update
Opinion Article26 April 2011

Hotel Lawyer: The hotel transaction market is heating up!

By Jim Butler, Partner, Chairman, Global Hospitality Group®

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The transaction market is heating up, and I am still getting calls and comments about my interview with Eric Stoessel in the National Real Estate Investor last month, where we discussed how the hotel transaction market is poised for a big turnaround.


I am also getting calls about Meet the Money®, the hotel finance conference that will take place in two weeks in Los Angeles. Registrants want to know: will debt and equity players be there? (The answer is, yes!)

But, first things first.

Hotel Distress Buys: 'There's Something for Everyone Right Now'

Eric called me shortly after the $1.28 billon Ashford Hospitality Trust joint-venture acquisition of Highland Hospitality's 28-hotel portfolio deal closed last month, He wanted to know if more portfolio sales like the Ashford Hospitality Trust deal would be coming online. What did I think?

My answer: Absolutely! Will distressed hotel deals of all sizes be made this year? Absolutely!

Hotel values increased 10% to 15% in 2010 and prices are trending up. Industry fundamentals are improving, there is little new supply and there is virtually unlimited equity on the sideline. For opportunistic investors looking for value, it won't get better than this. The time is now!

As I told Eric in our interview:

"We're less likely to see as many bankruptcies and foreclosures as we saw in the 1990s, but we're more likely to see recapitalizations – meaning fresh capital investments, discounted payments, note sales, restructuring arrangements – where the new investor gets the lion's share or all the equity."

Eric and I discussed why how these kinds of deals are often good for the borrower as it may prevent negative tax consequences, or offer some forgiveness of indemnity. Sometimes the original borrower is left with some real economic interest, but the ownership structure generally favors the capital coming in. We discussed why note sales often work for lenders and what kinds of investors are doing deals. We covered a lot of ground in a short interview.

Click here to read the National Real Estate Investor article entitled, Hotel Distress Buys: 'There's Something for Everyone Right Now'.

There is no typical scenario for how investors and distressed borrowers come together to discuss distressed hotel deals, but you can be sure that providers and consumers of capital, and people looking to do deals will be at Meet the Money® 2011, May 2-4, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Meet the Money® is one of the "most efficient" hotel investment conferences. Attended by senior level executives, coming to "do business," this conference is always a reliable venue for providers and consumers of capital. But the timing and the dynamics for the Conference this year are particularly exciting. After a long drought of transactions and finance, deals are back! Simply put, investment opportunities are not going to get better than this, so you need to figure out how to find transactions now, and finance them now.

The timing is NOW. Even a delay of a few weeks or months may mean you miss out. To get more information and register for Meet the Money®, go to

This is Jim Butler, author of and hotel lawyer, signing off. We've done more than $60 billion of hotel transactions and have developed innovative solutions to help investors be successful in bidding for hotel acquisitions, and helping investors and lenders to unlock value from troubled hotel transactions. Who's your hotel lawyer?

Related Event

Meet the Money® 2018

Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — Los Angeles, CA United States
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    About JMBM's Global Hospitality Group®

    The hospitality attorneys in the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP comprise the premier hospitality practice in a full-service law firm, and the most experienced legal and advisory team in the industry. Our team of seasoned hotel lawyers has more than $87 billion in hotel transactions experience, involving more than 3,900 properties located around the globe providing one of the most extensive virtual data bases of market terms for deals and financings. Click here to see How JMBM's Global Hospitality Group® Can Help.

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