Blackstone to pony up $1.2bln for three Paulson-consortium hotels as group raises record $14.5bln in four months

Blackstone Group is at it again. The investment group is reportedly shelling out more than $1.2 billion to a consortium led by Paulson & Co. for three hotels: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and two J.W. Marriotts in Orlando and Scottsdale, Ariz.

The hotels combined have more than 2,500 rooms, about 472,000 square feet of meeting space and 54 holes of golf on 800 acres.

As WSJ points out, the acquisition is a bet by Blackstone that group travel has taken a turn for the better, and will grow further in coming years.

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The sale by Paulson, Winthrop Realty Trust and Capital Trust Inc., a lender acquired by Blackstone that is now called Blackstone Mortgage Trust, marks the end of the CNL Hotels & Resorts portfolio of hotels the partners took over through a 2011 foreclosure, WSJ reports.

In 2013, Paulson and its partners sold four other hotels from the CNL portfolio, including the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix and the Claremont resort in Berkeley, Calif., to a Singapore sovereign-wealth fund for $1.5 billion.

The news comes as Blackstone reports that in four months it's raised a record $14.5 billion to buy properties around the globe.

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