NEW YORK CITY-The Blackstone Group LP has retained JP Morgan Chase & Co. to study the merits of a possible sale or initial public offering of the Irving, TX-based La Quinta hotel chain that is reportedly valued at $4.5 billion.

La Quinta operates approximately 800 moderately priced facilities across the country. Blackstone acquired the hotel chain for $2.3 billion plus debt in 2006.

In July, Blackstone filed plans to sell shares in its Extended Stay America hotel operator, which has an equity value between $3 billion and $4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also last month, Blackstone and partners filed plans to sell shares in retail shopping center owner the Brixmor Property Group.

In addition, hotel analysts expect Blackstone to file plans for an initial public offering of Hilton Worldwide, which it acquired in 2007 for more than $18 billion, plus more than $7 billion in assumed debt. See story in the Wall Street Journal.