Aries, which was formed in 1991 by Freeman, "has focused mostlyon debt – senior debt and mezzanine debt," he says. "We have donesome equity but that has been a smaller piece of our business."Aries Hospitality Group was established as an affiliate a few yearsago. The firm has offices in Chicago, Denver, Houston, New YorkCity and Phoenix, Freeman says.

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HI Group "has been involved in the institutional equity andbrokerage business," he says. HI Group had did some hotel deals butwanted to focus on hotels with a separate division. "It made sensefor both companies to create a strategic alliance focusing onhotels where we can help on the debt side of the equation and theycan help on the equity side," Freeman says. By forming thealliance, "we can provide better service to institutional andentrepreneurial hotel borrowers and provide better product andservice for hotel capital partners."

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The two firms will combine resources to source, process andclose hotel equity and sales transactions. "The principals of HIGroup and the principals of Aries Capital have worked ontransactions before," Freeman says. Aries decided to form thealliance to make it easier to serve clients needs in increasinglycomplicated hotel transactions, Freeman says.

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