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PHILADELPHIA-Locally based Hersha Hospitality Trust has begun an offering of series A cumulative redeemable preferred shares at a liquidation preference of $25 per share. Ashish Parikh, CFO, tells GlobeSt.com it is offering two million shares, and says, “we’re targeting a $50-million equity raise.”

Wachovia Capital Markets LLC and UBS Securities LLC are acting as joint book running managers for the offering. Raymond James & Associates Inc., Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. and Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. are participating co-managers.

Hersha expects to use the net proceeds to fund the purchase price for its pending Mystic Partners JV with Waterford, CT-based Waterford Hospitality Group and for general corporate purposes, including future acquisitions. Hersha and Waterford formed the Mystic Partners JV in June as the designated owner of a nine-property portfolio of hotels previously owned by Waterford.

The portfolio is valued at approximately $250 million, and Jay Shah, Hersha’s president and COO, told GlobeSt.com at that time that Hersha’s investment in the JV’s portfolio is $142 million. The closing of the JV is subject to satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions, which include debt refinancings related to the nine hotels. Shah said the debt would amount to about $160 million and be split among the individual properties.

The assets are Hilton- and Marriott-branded properties in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Seven are stabilized assets and two are newly developed. Their average age is four years, and they contain an aggregate of 1,707 keys.

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