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Land & Buildings Issues Letter to RLJ Lodging Trust Regarding “Concerns”


Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC recently issues a letter to shareholders of RLJ Lodging Trust. The letter revealed concerns with RLJ Management and believes the REIT should “immediately form a special committee to evaluate strategic alternatives in light of substantial undervaluation and buyer interest last year.”

According to the letter, Land & Buildings who is a significant shareholder of RLJ, said that “RLJ does not appear to be focused on maximizing value for all shareholders.”

Further, the letter states that it has been “disappointed by the Board’s apparent failure to adequately address the issues we have identified regarding the management, board composition and strategic direction of the company.”

The hope of the letter is that Land & Buildings intends to run a slate of two director candidates, Michelle Applebaum and Samantha Yablon, for election at the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting. “We believe our nominees would bring significant relevant experience, new insights and fresh perspectives to the Board, as well as a deep commitment to shareholder-alignment,” the letter stated. “We have been troubled by our conversations with management regarding the company’s financials, and in our view, its poor guidance and poor investor communications.”

And while RLJ hasn’t yet issued a response as of press time, RLJ’s previous response to an earlier letter regarding a few of the same issues was that it “remains committed to acting in the best interest of all our shareholders. We have and will continue to cultivate strong relationships with our shareholders and welcome their input and constructive dialogue. Our board of trustees and management team are fully committed to maximizing shareholder value.”

More to come on this front when we learn more.

RLJ Lodging Trust recently revealed dividends for the first quarter of 2018. It declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.33 per common share of beneficial interest. The dividend is payable on April 13, 2018, to shareholders of record as of March 29, 2018. Based on the company’s common stock closing price of $20.24 on March 15, 2018, the annualized $1.32 dividend represents a 6.5% yield.

The Board of Trustees also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.4875 on the company’s Series A Preferred Shares. The dividend is payable on April 30, 2018, to shareholders of record as of March 29, 2018.

RLJ Lodging Trust is a self-advised, publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on acquiring premium-branded, focused-service and compact full-service hotels. The company’s portfolio consists of 156 hotels with approximately 30,570 rooms located in 26 states and the District of Columbia and an ownership interest in one unconsolidated hotel with 171 rooms.