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(Maria Wood is senior editor of Real Estate Forum.)

NEW YORK CITY—Just as most major lodging companies have franchise flags in several different sectors, from economy to upscale, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels now has the ability to sell mid-scale and limited-service hotels in the US. The move comes with its acquisition of ThompsonCalhounFair Hotel Brokerage. The deal was announced during the 27th Annual New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, held here at the Waldorf-Astoria.

While neither JLL nor ThompsonCalhounFair would comment on the financials behind the deal, sources tell GlobeSt.com that it is likely valued at three to four times the company’s annual earnings. TCF’s three founding principals, H. Keith Thompson, Al Calhoun and Mark Fair, were named managing directors of JLL Hotels’ new Select Service Division, which will specialize in the sale of mid-market and limited-service lodging properties. Arthur Adler, managing director and CEO-Americas for JLL Hotels, said that while his firm is a leader in selling upscale and luxury assets, advising on the sale of more than 23,000 hotels rooms worldwide worth $5.2 billion in 2004, it wanted to expand into other sectors of the industry to service clients with diversified portfolios.

“We tried to compete in the mid-market arena, but were unsuccessful,” he said. “This gives us immediate access to an untapped market.”

Adler added that the luxury/upscale segment represents 9% of the lodging supply in the US, whereas mid-scale/limited-service hotels account for 43%. He noted that trading a hotel worth more than $25 million demands different marketing strategies and access to a different buyer community than selling a $5-million property.

Since its founding in 2000, TCF has arranged the sale of more than 350 hotels in the US with an aggregate value of roughly $4 billion. Al Calhoun said that if his firm wanted to jump from selling 70 hotels a year to more than a hundred, “it would take a major structural change with more offices. This makes it easier for us to go to the next step.” TCF is based in Atlanta with a branch in Charlotte, NC. For now, JLL Hotels’ Select Service Division will operate solely in the US. However, Arthur W. de Haast, global CEO of JLL Hotels, said that the United Kingdom is the most likely country in which it would expand this unit.

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