SOURCE: Supertel Hospitality, Inc.

Supertel Hospitality, Inc.

March 03, 2015 17:01 ET

Hospitality Veteran William Blackham Joins Supertel Hospitality as CEO

NORFOLK, NE--(Marketwired - March 03, 2015) - Supertel Hospitality, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPR), a real estate investment trust (REIT), today announced that hospitality and finance veteran William Blackham has joined the company as chief executive officer. Previously, Mr. Blackham was president and CEO of Eagle Hospitality, a hotel REIT which traded on the NYSE and has been active for several decades in entities actively involved in real estate and hospitality development, acquisition and advisory services. He replaces Kelly Walters, who will remain on Supertel's board of directors. Mr. Blackham also was appointed to the Supertel board of directors.

"Bill Blackham brings more than 30 years of deep and broad hospitality and investment experience to Supertel," said Jim Friend, Supertel's chairman of the board. "Bill has a long and accomplished track record creating and growing public and private companies, raising capital and building strong management teams. He understands our industry and shares our vision for growing the company. I and our board look forward to working closely with Bill to take Supertel to the next phase of growth."

"The hotel industry is enjoying continued positive growth in both demand and pricing power, which creates a variety of growth opportunities for the company," said Blackham. "I look forward to working with the board and management team to implement a strategy that creates significant shareholder value."

Blackham's hospitality expertise includes a key leadership role in the formation of Eagle Hospitality Properties Trust, Inc., a hotel REIT. As president and chief executive officer, he authored and implemented the company's business plan and led the company's growth from the IPO through the sale of the company. During his tenure, the company acquired more than $225 million of hotel assets, growing to an enterprise value of nearly $700 million. As CEO, the company generated a compounded annual return approaching 20 percent, creating more than $100 million in shareholder value.

Blackham's other senior executive positions include executive vice president and executive board member of Corporex Companies, Inc., a privately held hospitality and real estate development and ownership company, as well as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Tambone Corporation, a privately owned and operated real estate development business. 

Blackham holds an MBA from The Wharton School-The University of Pennsylvania and a BS from The Carroll School of Management-Boston College. He has been actively involved throughout his career in various professional organizations, including The Urban Land Institute, the Pension Fund Real Estate Association, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and the National Association of Office and Industrial Parks. Blackham also served as Honorary Consular for Brazil for five years in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The company granted Blackham an equity award of long-term incentive plan units ("LTIP Units"), representing profit interests in the company's operating partnership. The LTIP Units are earned in one-third increments upon the company's common stock achieving price per share milestones of $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50 respectively. Earned LTIP Units vest in March 2018, or earlier upon a change in control of the company, and can be redeemed at the rate of one share of common stock for each eight earned LTIP Units for up to 657,894 shares. The company also granted Blackham a warrant ("Warrant") to purchase 657,894 shares of common stock at (i) $1.52 per share (the adjusted closing bid price of the common stock on Nasdaq on March 2, 2105) if he purchases at least one-third, but not more than one-half of the shares on or prior to March 17, 2015, and (ii) $1.92 per share for shares purchased after March 17, 2015. The Warrant has a three-year term, but will terminate earlier on March 17, 2015 if he does not exercise the Warrant for at least one-third of the shares on or by that date. The LTIP Units and Warrant were granted as an inducement material to Blackham's acceptance of employment with the company in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which, under such circumstances, provides an exception to the stockholder approval requirements and allows for the grant of the equity to be made outside of the company's shareholder-approved stock plan.

The national search was conducted by Ferguson Partners Ltd., a global executive recruiting consultancy specializing in real estate, asset and wealth management, hospitality and leisure and healthcare.

Supertel Hospitality, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPR) is a self-administered real estate investment trust that specializes in the ownership of select-service hotels. The company currently owns 54 hotels comprising 4,666 rooms in 20 states. Supertel's hotels are franchised by a number of the industry's most well-regarded brand families including Hilton, Choice and Wyndham. For more information or to make a hotel reservation, visit

Certain matters within this press release are discussed using forward-looking language as specified in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and, as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or performance to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statement. These risks are discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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