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Lightstone Buys Blackstone-Owned Hotels Group for $8 Billion

Privately-held real estate group Lightstone Group agreed to buy Extended Stays Hotels from U.S. private equity firm the Blackstone Group, in an $8 billion deal, a Lightstone representative said on Tuesday.

The deal is one of the biggest non-casino hotel deals in history, according to the a report on the Wall Street Journal Web site.

Lightstone, which owns commercial and residential real estate, will finance the deal with $1 billion in cash and $7 billion in debt, a spokesman said.

The deal "immediately puts us in a leadership position within the extended stay market," Lightstone Chairman and Chief Executive David Lichtenstein said in a statement.

Extended Stay owns 683 properties and about 76,000 units in 44 states and Canada and operates five brands that include Homestead Studio Suites, StudioPLUS Deluxe Studios, Extended Stay Deluxe and Extended Stay America and Crossland.

The transaction is expected to close in about two months, Lightstone said.