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Hersha acquires Boston hotel, announces public offering

By , - Last modified: May 3, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Upscale hotel owner Hersha Hospitality Trust has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the 80-room Bulfinch Hotel in downtown Boston, the company announced Wednesday.

Hersha, which has offices in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, is spending $18.2 million on the Bulfinch — the company's first in the Boston Central Business District.

"This is a core market for Hersha that is expected to be one of the best performing markets in the country for the next few years," CEO Jay Shah said in a news release. The company expects continued strength in the city's technology, health care and education industries, "in addition to a very strong convention calendar," he said.

This property complements other independent properties Hersha owns in New York and Washington, the company said. Hersha plans to invest about $2.5 million in the hotel to upgrade guest rooms, fitness and business amenities, improve the food and beverage platform and add a room.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, Hersha said. The real estate investment trust's portfolio now includes 67 hotels in major urban markets that include Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington

The company today announced a public offering price of $5.60 per share on 24 million common shares at par value of 1 cent per share. There also is a 30-day option to underwriters to purchase up to 3.6 million additional shares.

Hersha announced the public offering Wednesday at 22 million shares and an option for 3.3 million additional shares, but demand was high and those numbers were increased, said CFO Ashish Parikh.

Gross proceeds from the offering will be about $134.4 million, Hersha said. If underwriters exercise their option in full, that number could be $154.6 million.

Hersha said it intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to repay outstanding debts under its revolving line of credit and for general corporate purposes, including future acquisitions.

Shares of Hersha stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HT.

Editor's Note: This item was modified from its previous version to add details on Hersha's updated public offering.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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