UPDATE 1-Blackstone joins Extended Stay bid team -source

* Joins Centerbridge, Paulson bid

* Rivals bid by Starwood Capital

NEW YORK, April 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Private equity firm
Blackstone (BX.N: ) is joining one of the teams bidding to buy
Extended Stay [ESAIN.UL], a source familiar with the situation
said on Wednesday, upping the ante in the battle to control the
mid-priced U.S. hotel chain.

Blackstone is joining the team led by investment companies
Centerbridge Partners and Paulson & Co. That group is bidding
against a rival offer from Starwood Capital Group.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news.

An investor group led by David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone
Group bought Extended Stay in June 2007. Extended Stay was
forced into bankruptcy last year after its projected cash flows
declined amid the recession and it could not keep servicing
more than $7 billion in debt.

In February, Centerbridge and Paulson & Co agreed to invest
up to $450 million in the company once it exits Chapter 11.

However, Starwood Capital said in March it submitted a bid
which exceeded that offer, and the hotel firm switched its
support to that offer.

A source familiar with the situation said several weeks ago
that Extended Stay was favoring a new planned bid from
Centerbridge and Paulson. The source described it as slightly
better economically than the Starwood bid.

Stock Research Tools

(Reporting by Megan Davies. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

UPDATE 1-Blackstone joins Extended Stay bid team -source