Extended Stay America

Extended Stay America

Extended Stay America, Inc. ("ESA") and its paired-share REIT, ESH Hospitality, Inc. ("ESH" and together with ESA, the "Company") (NASDAQ: STAY) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by a 50/50 joint venture between funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners ("Blackstone") and Starwood Capital Group ("Starwood Capital") for $19.50 per paired share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6 billion.

The $19.50 per paired share consideration represents a premium of 23.3% over the 30-day volume-weighted average share price ending March 12, 2021 and a premium of 15.1% over the closing stock price on March 12, 2021.

Doug Geoga, Chairman of the Boards of the Company said, "After a thorough review of the Company's business plan, the Boards concluded that the immediate cash premium offered by this transaction is compelling for stockholders. We are delighted with this outcome."

Bruce Haase, CEO and President of the Company said, "We are pleased to announce this transaction with Blackstone and Starwood Capital, two of the most experienced investors in the hospitality space with impressive track records of building value in a wide variety of real estate assets, and we look forward to this partnership and continued growth." He added, "The Boards and senior management are especially grateful to the excellent team of leaders and associates who have made this company such a leader in the lodging industry and we are confident in the Company's continued success under private ownership."

Tyler Henritze, head of US acquisitions for Blackstone Real Estate commented, "Travel and leisure is one of Blackstone's highest conviction investment themes, and we have confidence in the extended stay model. We helped create this company nearly twenty years ago, and believe our expertise puts us in a unique position to add long-term value."

Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Capital, added, "Extended Stay has demonstrated resilience over the past year despite persistent challenges due to government lockdowns and travel restrictions. We are excited about the Company's growth opportunity as restrictions ease and we're confident that, in partnership with Blackstone and the Company, our team has the right experience to drive continued success."

The transaction has been unanimously approved by ESA's Board of Directors and has also been approved by ESH's Board of Directors. Completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2021, is contingent upon customary closing conditions, including approval of the Company's stockholders. The transaction is not contingent on receipt of financing. In connection with the transaction, an affiliate of Starwood Capital, which owns approximately 9.4% of Company's outstanding paired shares, has entered into a support agreement whereby it has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the transaction.

The Company does not expect to pay its regular quarterly distribution during the pendency of the transaction except for the previously declared $0.09 distribution on March 26, 2021. However, under the terms of the merger agreement, the acquiror may request that ESA pay a special distribution immediately prior to the closing of up to $1.75 per paired share, in which case the cash consideration paid in the merger will be reduced by the amount of the distribution.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to the Company and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is acting as legal counsel. J.P. Morgan and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are acting as financial advisors and providing debt financing to Blackstone and Starwood. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to Blackstone, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Starwood Capital.

Extended Stay America, Inc. ("ESA") and its brand Extended Stay America® is the leading brand in the mid-priced extended stay segment in the U.S. with 650 hotels. ESA's subsidiary, ESH Hospitality, Inc., is the largest lodging REIT in North America by unit and room count, with 564 hotels and approximately 62,500 rooms in the U.S. ESA also franchises an additional 86 Extended Stay America® hotels. Visit www.esa.com for more information.

About Starwood Capital Group

Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm with a core focus on global real estate, energy infrastructure and oil & gas. The Firm and its affiliates maintain 16 offices in seven countries around the world, and currently have approximately 4,100 employees. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised over $55 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of $75 billion of assets under management. Through a series of comingled opportunity funds and Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (SREIT), a non-listed REIT, the Firm has invested in virtually every category of real estate on a global basis, opportunistically shifting asset classes, geographies and positions in the capital stack as it perceives risk/reward dynamics to be evolving. Starwood Capital also manages Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the largest commercial mortgage real estate investment trust in the United States, which has successfully deployed over $63 billion of capital since inception and manages a portfolio of over $17 billion across debt and equity investments. Over the past 29 years, Starwood Capital Group and its affiliates have successfully executed an investment strategy that involves building enterprises in both the private and public markets. Additional information can be found at starwoodcapital.com.

About Blackstone Real Estate

Blackstone is a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone's real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $187 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is one of the largest property owners in the world, owning and operating assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, multifamily and single-family housing, office, hospitality and retail. Our opportunistic funds seek to acquire undermanaged, well-located assets across the world. Blackstone's Core+ strategy invests in substantially stabilized real estate globally through regional open-ended funds focused on high-quality assets and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT), a non-listed REIT that invests in U.S. income-generating assets. Blackstone Real Estate also operates one of the leading global real estate debt businesses, providing comprehensive financing solutions across the capital structure and risk spectrum, including management of Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE: BXMT).

Top Pizza Chain

Top Pizza Chain

Everbody loves a good Pizza. Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza recently announced it was awarded top marks for pizza chains from two leading business publications—Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) and Newsweek—in their annual consumer surveys, highlighting the strengths of the brand from the consumers' perspective amid a global pandemic.

On NRN's 2020 Consumer Picks list, Papa Murphy's ranked No. 1 in three "best in class" categories: "Overall Trust" pre-pandemic, "Sanitation" post-pandemic, and "True Loyalty." This marks the second straight year Papa Murphy's bested all other pizza chains for "True Loyalty," meaning consumers said they visited out of loyalty to the brand more than convenience. Additionally, Papa Murphy's ranked No. 3 in "Value" and "Affordability" pre-pandemic.

Papa Murphy's also earned its way to the No. 1 spot on Newsweek's America's Best Customer Service Companies 2021 list in the pizza chains category. This is the third straight year the brand has either earned first place or tied for first place on this prestigious list.

High rankings in both consumer surveys are a testament to how well the take-and-bake concept resonates with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic—and how hard Papa Murphy's is working to keep its guests safe and satisfied.

"Over the past six months, only a limited number of Papa Murphy's stores had to close temporarily, and there were no permanent layoffs," wrote NRN Associate Editor Joanna Fantozzi. "Customers were constantly looking for meal solutions since most dining rooms were closed in the spring, and Papa Murphy's was equipped to deliver."

In Kim, Senior Vice President of Franchise Performance and Engagement – Operations at Papa Murphy's, said the fact that thousands of consumers chose Papa Murphy's as tops in trust, sanitation, loyalty, and customer service is a strong validation of the brand's ever-growing following. "When the pandemic hit, Papa Murphy's acted quickly to make sure our customers, employees, and Franchise Owners felt safe engaging with us at our stores – and we were rewarded with strong sales and continued support," said Kim. "Customer service and satisfaction truly are at the heart of what we do and behind every we make to order for our guests."

Papa Murphy's continues to focus on the highest level of service and personal safety for guests and communities. Stores have made it easier than ever for guests to bake their favorite pizza at home on their own schedule. Guests can order online or from Papa Murphy's official app, or through their favorite delivery app where available. In the stores, "quick pick-up" racks are conveniently placed near the entrance, so guests can limit time inside. Where possible, curbside pick-up and drive-thru options are also offered to allow guests to stay in their vehicles.

For more information and to find the Papa Murphy's location nearest you, please visit papamurphys.com, or connect online: facebook.com/papamurphyspizza, instagram.com/papamurphys, and twitter.com/papamurphys.

Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. ("Papa Murphy's") is a franchisor and operator of the largest Take 'n' Bake pizza brand in the United States, with a mission to "Change The Way You Pizza." Papa Murphy's exists to enrich the everyday with unconventional moments of happiness not only because our take 'n bake pizzas are made-to-order daily using only the freshest ingredients but by providing exceptional service at over 1,250 franchised and corporate-owned locations across the U.S—plus locations in Canada and the UAE. With the core values of Quality, Service, Integrity, Teamwork as our guide, Papa Murphy's offers guests a convenient, unparalleled experience for creating the best at-home meal experience. Along with fresh pizzas, Papa Murphy's offers hand-crafted salads, sides, and desserts to complete your meal and please your palate. Order online at papamurphys.com or from our official Papa Murphy's app everywhere, and find us on your favorite delivery apps in select markets.

Unmissable events across the USA

Unmissable events across the USA

Music, food, art and extravaganza are some of the things you can expect at these events that take place in difference states of the US throughout the year.

Taste of Chicago

Displaying the diversity of Chicago's dining community, this is the nation's premier outdoor food festival. But the event is not only for foodies as it also offers music and fun filled activities for the entire family.

San Diego Comic-Con

You have spotted muggles dressed up as fictional characters all over world ready to attend a Cosplay. In fact, you might be one of them. But all of those Comic-Cons were inspired in San Diego Comic-Con. This event is not only the original Cosplay, but it is also the largest, featuring your favorite characters from all your favorite movies, comic books and shows. There you might meet an important writer or actor, as all the biggest names from each year's hit shows are sure to attend. The event was not always as big. From its humble origins, this Comic-Con has grown into the largest gathering of comic, movie, and science fiction fans in the nation.

Newport Folk Festival

Attention, folk music lovers! This festival in Rhode Island is a must for everyone who appreciates folk music. Featuring electric performances from both old times and young indie acts, the festival was made popular by musicians such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf, and has recently headlined big names like the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, the Avett Brothers, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The festival also promotes protecting the environment by suggesting getting there by bike, water shuttle or ride sharing.

Burning Man

This event gathers people every year in Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis in the state of Nevada. The event is dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. When the event Burning Man is over, there's no trace of the temporary city. Burning Man gathers a wide range of creative/unique individuals in the name of self-expressionism. Although Burning Man is not for everybody, if you do attend it, you are sure to have an experience to remember.

Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon

This event was created with the intention of making running fun by adding a beat to it. Las Vegas may be the marquee run in this event, but the marathon travels the country and makes stops in cities like D.C., Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, and more. If you love running and music, look no further. In this event, you can choose to run a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon.

Texas Renaissance Festival

From humble beginnings in the 1970s, the Texas Renaissance festival has grown to become not only the largest but also the most acclaimed Renaissance Festival in the nation, gathering more 500,000 guests every year. As you step into the festival, you travel back in time to the 16th century, as you explore the 55 acre, authentically recreated park. At the festival you can expect to see musicians, magicians, acrobats, jugglers, and dancers, with over 200 daily performances on over 20 stages throughout the village.

Ellen DeGeneres Best Lines

Ellen DeGeneres Best Lines

Everyone knows Ellen DeGeneres is a funny one. She is a talented host and some of her lines are sure to make you laugh.

Here are some of her best punch lines:

"Just go up to somebody on street and say ‘You're it!' and just run away."

"Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off."

"Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system."

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is."

"I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon."

"Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days."

"I feel like I have a hangover, without all the happy memories and mystery bruises."

"You are never too old to play. You are only too old for low-rise jeans."

"Friends will write me letters. They run out of room on the front of the letter. They write ‘over‘ on the bottom of the letter. Like I'm that much of a moron. Like I need that there. Because if it wasn't there, I'd get to the bottom of the page: ‘And so Kathy and I went shopping and we-‘ That's the craziest thing! I don't know why she would just end it that way."

"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!‘ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better."

"People always ask me, ‘Were you funny as a child?‘ Well no, I was an accountant."

"If someone says you're weird, say Thank You."

"I think people talk too much anyway. Sometimes people are talking to me and in my mind I'm just like ‘shut up, shut up, shut up... blah blah blah blaaaah."

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."

"The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble."

"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."

"Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others."

"Never follow anyone else's path, unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path. Then, by all means, follow that path."

"I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that."

"When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I am past the hard part and there is a snack in my future. That's a good thing as far as I am concerned."

"Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it's worse when they are wearing dark glasses and have streams in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot."

The spectacular comedian, animal lover and a talk show host is also on facebook and ellentube.com