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Morgan Stanley Unit to Pay $6.6 Billion for CNL Hotels

CNL Hotels & Resorts said on Friday that Morgan Stanley's real-estate unit will acquire the hotel real estate investment trust for about $6.6 billion, including debt.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate will pay $20.50 per share in cash for CNL, the trust said in a statement.

The purchase includes three properties in Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria collection, including the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, CNL said.

It also includes resorts in Orlando and Miami, Florida, and Berkeley, California.

"We believe that these types of luxury hotels are extremely hard to replicate and will exhibit excellent future growth from increased corporate group travel and leisure travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience," Morgan Stanley Real Estate Managing Director Michael Franco said in a statement.

Before the transaction, CNL will sell 51 properties to Ashford Hospitality Trust for about $2.4 billion, it said.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.

CNL's financial advisers were Banc of America Securities LLC, UBS Investment Bank and Houlihan Lokey. Morgan Stanley advised Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

CNL, Morgan Stanley and Ashford officials were not immediately available for comment.

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