Strategic Hotels' third 2015 deal may be Four Seasons Austin

Strategic Hotels is looking to acquire the Four Seasons Austin for $197 million. This is would be the company’s first foray into the Austin, which is one of the highest-growth markets in the country.  This would also mark the Chicago-based REIT's second Four Seasons acquisition in six months: In November, it purchased the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, for $140.0 million. At the time, the deal was valued at $666,000 per key for the 210-room luxury hotel.

Traditionally weighted on both coasts, this transaction is an important step in the company’s stated effort to diversify its geographic reach and is its third deal already this year.  

Last week, Strategic signed an agreement to sell its Hyatt Regency La Jolla for $118.0 million. The Company currently owns a 53.5 percent interest in the asset. At closing, the joint venture will retire $89.2 million of debt secured by the hotel, which is currently consolidated on the Company's balance sheet. The transaction, which is subject to certain closing conditions, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. 

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It also acquired the Montage Laguna Beach in January from an affiliate of Ohana Real Estate Investors LLC for $360.0 million, plus customary working capital adjustments. The Company funded the acquisition, in part, through the issuance of 7,347,539 shares of common stock to an affiliated designee of the seller, priced at $13.61 per share, or an implied valuation of $100.0 million. In addition, the Company assumed a $150 million mortgage loan encumbering the property, priced at a fixed interest rate of 3.90%, which matures in August 2021. The remaining portion of the purchase price was funded with existing cash balances.