The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX), the biggest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and property, is backing La Quinta Holdings Inc. who will raise as much as $780 million from its initial public offering. This is the third hotel chain that Blackstone Group is taking public in six months. Blackstone has been selling or taking public its real estate assets aggressively as the U.S. hotel industry recovers. With more than 830 hotels, La Quinta is one of the largest owners and operators of budget hotels in the United States. The hotel chain posted net income of $44.5 million on total revenue of $909 million, on a pro forma basis, in 2013. Blackstone will hold about 64% stake in La Quinta after the IPO if the underwriters fully exercise their option to buy additional shares, according to the IPO filing.
The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations. The firm manages separate client focused portfolios.
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Signet Jewelers Limited (NYSE: SIG) shares popped after the company beat analysts’ expectations for earnings and revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter. Signet Jewelers, who owns the Kay Jewelers reported earnings of $2.18 per share for the quarter which beat analysts’ estimates of $2.15 a share. Revenue also rose 3.3% from the year ago quarter to $1.56 billion when analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had been expecting revenue of $1.55 billion for the quarter. Same store sales rose 4.3% and for the Kay brand same store sales, it rose 4.9%. Signet expects same-store sales growth of between 3% and 4% in the first quarter.
Signet Jewelers Limited engages in the retail sale of jewelry and watches in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands. The company operates through US and UK divisions. As of August 3, 2013, the US division operated a network of 1,449 stores in 50 states, including stores that trade nationally in malls and off-mall locations under the Kay Jewelers brand, and regionally under the mall-based brands; and destination superstores under the Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry brand, as well as Ultra stores. The UK division operated a network of 500 stores, including 14 stores in the Republic of Ireland and 3 in the Channel Islands under the H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, and Leslie Davis brands in regional shopping malls and high street locations.
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