RLJ Lodging Trust and FelCor Lodging Trust to merge creating $7 billion leading Lodging REIT
RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ) and FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (FelCor) has announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement (the “Merger Agreement”) under which FelCor will merge with and into a wholly-owned subsidiary of RLJ in an all-stock transaction. Post-merger, RLJ is expected to have a pro forma equity market capitalisation of approximately $4.2 billion and a total enterprise value of $7 billion, creating the largest pure-play public REIT dedicated to owning focused-service and compact full-service hotels.
The merger will establish the third biggest pure-play lodging REIT by enterprise value, creating meaningful scale to capitalise on cost efficiencies, negotiate leverage and access to capital, and the opportunity to strategically recycle assets and optimise the portfolio.
The combined company will have ownership interests in 160 hotels, including premium-branded hotels located primarily in urban and coastal markets with multiple demand generators. The combination also provides significant penetration within key high-growth markets and broad geographic and brand diversity. With a strong and flexible balance sheet and disciplined approach to portfolio and asset management, the combined company will have the attributes and capabilities to drive accretive growth and to pursue additional opportunities to enhance value.
Robert L. Johnson, Executive Chairman of RLJ Lodging Trust, stated, “As Chairman of RLJ Lodging Trust, I would like to say that we are very excited about this combination with FelCor. I am confident that, under the management of our seasoned team of executives, this portfolio will yield significant benefits to the shareholders of both companies.”
“We are truly excited about this unique opportunity as we transform our two companies into one of the largest pure-play lodging REITs. Combining these two complementary portfolios creates a best-in-class platform that is well positioned to deliver long-term growth and generate significant shareholder value,” commented Ross H. Bierkan, RLJ’s President and Chief Executive Officer.