Market Overview

Ashford Hospitality Issues Letter on Activist Investor, Sessa Capital


Ashford Hospitality Prime, Inc., (NYSE: AHP) ("Ashford Prime" or the "Company") today issued the following statement regarding Sessa Capital's ("Sessa") disruptive actions.

Ashford Prime believes that Sessa's litigious and reckless strategy is destroying stockholder value by forcing the Company and management to expend significant time and resources. The Company believes the market's negative reaction following the announcement of Sessa's campaign shows that Sessa's actions are clearly not considered by the market to be in the best interests of Ashford Prime or its stockholders.

Prior to the launch of Sessa's "activist" campaign on January 15, 2016, the Company:

Independently launched a strategic review process in August 2015, before Sessa's initial 13D filing, to explore options to enhance long-term stockholder value with the assistance of both financial and legal advisors;
Ranked first in stockholder returns versus its direct peers during 2015; and
Ranked first in stockholder returns versus its direct peers during the timeframe between the Company's announcement of its strategic alternatives review and the date Sessa announced its slate of board nominees in January 2016.
Since January 15, 2016, the date Sessa announced its slate of board nominees, to the present:

The Company has ranked last in stockholder returns versus its direct peers;
The Company's stock price dropped 18% the week of the announcement of Sessa's proxy contest;
The Company believes Sessa's reckless campaign disrupted, lengthened and introduced substantial uncertainty around the Company's now completed review of strategic alternatives; and
If Sessa's slate is elected as a result of this proxy fight, then they introduce the material risk of triggering a substantial termination fee payable to Ashford Inc.
The Company believes the market's negative reaction since the public announcement of Sessa's campaign demonstrates that Sessa's misguided actions are not supportive of the Company's strategy to enhance value and are clearly not in the best interests of Ashford Prime or its stockholders.

The Board has taken significant steps to drive stockholder value. As a result of the Company's recently concluded strategic review process, the Company will increase its dividend, liquidate its hedge fund investment and utilize cash to fund a $50 million share buyback program. Following the announcement of the Company's conclusion of its strategic review process, the Company's stock responded favorably. In addition to these immediate structural changes and longer-term initiatives designed to enhance value for its stockholders, the Company and the Board continue to focus on creating long-term value for stockholders going forward.

Ashford Prime has retained Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP as legal counsel. Moelis & Company LLC is acting as financial advisor to Ashford Prime in connection with Sessa's proxy contest.

Ashford Prime is a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in luxury hotels located in resort and gateway markets.

Posted-In: Sessa CapitalNews Hedge Funds Press Releases General


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