La Quinta priced its IPO at $17 and went public on the NYSE under the symbol LQ. The offering price was a tad lower than the expected range of $18 to $21, but the 38.25 million shares sold eclipsed the 37.2 million shares that were previously anticipated. At the $17 per share offering price, La Quinta garnered an estimated value of around $2.1 billion. Its majority shareholder, The Blackstone Group, took the company private for about $3.4 billion in 2006, including debt. The firm reportedly considered selling the company at a $4.5 billion valuation late last year, but ultimately scrapped the idea in favor of an IPO. LQ shares closed their first day of trading at $17.12.