During each of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, the Company declared a cash dividend of $1.32 per Common Share.
Preferred Shares of Beneficial Interest
Under the declaration of trust for the Company, there are 50,000,000 preferred shares authorized for issuance. As of December 31, 2016, there were no preferred shares of beneficial interest outstanding.
On August 31, 2017, the Company designated and authorized the issuance of up to 12,950,000 $1.95 Series A Preferred Shares. The Company issued 12,879,475 Series A Preferred Shares, at a price of $28.49 per share, to former FelCor preferred stockholders as consideration in the REIT Merger. The holders of the Series A Preferred Shares are entitled to receive dividends that are payable in cash in an amount equal to the greater of (i) $1.95 per annum or (ii) the cash distributions declared or paid for the corresponding period on the number of Common Shares into which a Series A Preferred Share is then convertible.
During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company declared a cash dividend of $1.95 and $0.975, respectively, on each Series A Preferred Share.
Noncontrolling Interest in Consolidated Joint Ventures
The Company consolidates the joint venture that owns the DoubleTree Metropolitan Hotel New York City hotel property, which has a third-party partner that owns a noncontrolling 1.7% ownership interest in the joint venture. In addition, the Company consolidates the joint venture that owns The Knickerbocker hotel property, which has a third-party partner that owns a noncontrolling 5% ownership interest in the joint venture. Lastly, the Company owns a controlling financial interest in the operating lessee of the Embassy Suites Secaucus Meadowlands hotel property, which has a third-party partner that owns a noncontrolling 49% ownership interest in the joint venture. The third-party ownership interests are included in the noncontrolling interest in consolidated joint ventures on the consolidated balance sheets.
Noncontrolling Interest in the Operating Partnership
The Company consolidates the Operating Partnership, which is a majority-owned limited partnership that has a noncontrolling interest. As of December 31, 2018, the Operating Partnership had 174,792,809 OP units outstanding, of which 99.6% of the outstanding OP units were owned by the Company and its subsidiaries, and the noncontrolling 0.4% ownership interest was owned by other limited partners.
As of December 31, 2018, the limited partners owned 773,193 OP units. The outstanding OP units held by the limited partners are redeemable for cash, or at the option of the Company, for a like number of Common Shares. The noncontrolling interest is included in the noncontrolling interest in the Operating Partnership on the consolidated balance sheets.
As a result of the Partnership Merger, on August 31, 2017, the Operating Partnership issued 215,152 OP units at a price of $20.18 per unit, to former FelCor LP limited partners as consideration in the Partnership Merger. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company issued 335,250 Common Shares in exchange for redeemed units.
Consolidated Joint Venture Preferred Equity
The Company's joint venture that redeveloped The Knickerbocker raised $45.0 million ($44.4 million net of issuance costs) through the sale of redeemable preferred equity under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The purchasers received a 3.25% annual return, plus a 0.25% non-compounding annual return that was paid upon redemption. The preferred equity raised by the joint venture is included in preferred equity in a consolidated joint venture on the consolidated balance sheets. On February 15, 2019, the Company redeemed the preferred equity in full.