Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to acquire Watermark Lodging Trust, a Chicago-based real estate investment trust, for $3.8 billion, including debt and preferred equity. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Morgan Stanley is serving as financial advisor to Watermark on the transaction.
CHICAGO, May 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Watermark Lodging Trust, Inc. (“Watermark,” “WLT” or the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with private real estate funds managed by Brookfield (“Brookfield”), under which Brookfield will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Watermark for $6.768 per Class A share and $6.699 per Class T share in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.8 billion, including the assumption of debt and preferred equity.
The purchase price represents a premium of over 7.5% from the most recently published Net Asset Values per share as of December 31, 2021, of $6.29 per Class A share and $6.22 per Class T share.
The Watermark portfolio, built over a decade of investing and intensive asset management, is comprised of high-quality lodging assets consisting of 25 properties totaling over 8,100 rooms. These luxury and upper upscale assets are located in drive-to leisure destinations and gateway urban cities across 14 states with a high concentration in the Sun Belt region.
“We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Brookfield, as it achieves our longer-term objective of a liquidity event, while providing our stockholders with an immediate and certain cash value,” said Michael Medzigian, Chairman and CEO of Watermark. “The transaction’s premium to our most recently published Net Asset Values per share represents the strong execution of our entire team who have demonstrated the ability to find innovative solutions to address the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to thank the members of our Watermark team, across all functions, for their dedication and hard work over the past several years.”
“Hotels and resorts of this scale and quality are difficult to replicate,” said Lowell Baron, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer in Brookfield’s Real Estate Group. “This portfolio is well positioned given its concentration in high barrier to entry coastal destinations, gateway cities and the sunbelt.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including the approval of Watermark’s stockholders. The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the Watermark Board of Directors and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to the Company, Hodges Ward Elliott is serving as real estate advisor to the Company and Clifford Chance US LLP and Paul Hastings LLP are acting as legal counsel. Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP is acting as legal counsel to Brookfield, and Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo are acting as financial advisors and providing financing for the transaction.
Watermark Lodging Trust
Watermark Lodging Trust, Inc. is a publicly registered, self-managed, non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in, manages and seeks to enhance the value of interests in lodging and lodging-related properties. Over the past decade, Watermark and its predecessor companies (Carey Watermark Investors Inc., Carey Watermark Investors 2 Inc. and Watermark Capital Partners, LLC) have been among the largest and most active investors in the lodging industry creating a portfolio of high-quality assets in high barrier to entry and growth markets. www.watermarklodging.com