Officials of Shaner Hotel Group (SHG) today announced plans to acquire between $300 million and $500 million in hotel assets over the near term, possibly as soon as by year-end. The company also announced that its Shaner Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), funded by Shaner and Five Arrows Realty Securities V, L.P., has acquired $90 million face amount of performing first mortgage debt under its previously announced plan to acquire approximately $200 million of debt.
"We have had in place for some time a plan to acquire hotels as the second phase of our expansion strategy to complement our debt acquisition platform," said Lance Shaner, chairman and CEO of SHG. "The availability of assets coming to market is finally beginning to expand, which has allowed us to put our plan in action. Capital has not been the problem in hotel real estate transactions, it has been available product."
Shaner said his company's acquisition profile targets multi-unit and single-asset acquisitions from owners and lenders. The company currently is in active negotiations to acquire its first portfolio and has an extensive pipeline of portfolios and individual properties. "Because we historically are longer-term holders of hotel real estate, we are targeting properties under 10 years old in cities east of the Mississippi. We seek upscale select-service and full-service properties in robust markets with $70 or higher revenue per available room (RevPAR), in cities with multiple, stable demand generators, such as college towns, state capitals or a sizeable defense industry base."
SHG will operate all of the hotels it acquires. "As an owner/operator, we believe we are better able to gauge a hotel's potential because we see it from both an investment and operating entity perspective," he said. "Since we have all the key disciplines in-house, from marketing to construction supervision, we believe we can operate more efficiently and effectively than our competitive set. As a result, we can respond more quickly and flexibly during the due diligence process, evaluate the opportunities for repositioning and operating improvements and be at full speed the day we take over a property."
Shaner said that the company's private mortgage real estate investment trust, Shaner Private Holding, has acquired $90 million of performing loans from banks and seeks to acquire an additional $110 million face value of debt. "We are not a vulture fund and our strategy is not 'loan-to-own.' Instead, we seek to acquire first mortgage debt at discount to par value and to hold it until maturity or early repayment. We pursue loans that are in compliance or that we can help put into compliance. The market has been quite frothy but appears to be settling down. Combined with an earlier fund, we have acquired more than $150 million face value of first mortgage debt and still have an aggressive appetite for more. There are plenty of opportunities on the market now from banks, insurance companies and individual owners who have loans coming due or may need an infusion of additional capital. We currently are evaluating a number of options."
Headquartered in State College, Pa., Shaner Hotel Group is part of the Shaner Companies, a diversified, privately held company that owns and operates investments in the lodging, investment, energy and professional service sectors. Shaner Hotel Group is a developer/owner/operator that currently owns and manages 30 hotels.
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