RLJ Lodging Trust has completed its merger with FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated. The transaction was previously approved by RLJ’s shareholders and FelCor’s stockholders at their respective special meetings held on August 15, 2017.
The combined company, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, will retain the RLJ name and will trade under the existing ticker “RLJ” on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We are pleased to complete this transformative merger that creates the preeminent lodging REIT in the upscale focused-service and compact full-service space,” says Ross H. Bierkan, President and Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Lodging Trust. “Over the coming months we look forward to realizing the benefits of our expanded platform and executing our strategic plan to drive long-term shareholder value.”
The combined company will continue to be led by Robert L. Johnson as Executive Chairman, Ross H. Bierkan as president and CEO, and Leslie D. Hale as COO and CFO. Concurrently with the completion of the merger, the number of trustees on RLJ’s Board of Trustees was increased to eight. Patricia L. Gibson, a former director of FelCor, joined the existing seven members on RLJ’s Board of Trustees.
Effective as of the merger, shares of FelCor common stock will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Each former share of FelCor common stock has been converted into 0.362 newly issued RLJ common shares. FelCor’s operating units have been exchanged for limited partnership units in RLJ’s operating partnership at a similar exchange ratio of 0.362.
In addition, each outstanding share of FelCor’s $1.95 Series A cumulative convertible preferred stock has been converted into a newly created Series A cumulative convertible preferred share of RLJ. The RLJ Series A preferred shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RLJprA”.
Barclays acted as financial advisor and Hogan Lovells and Arent Fox acted as legal advisors to RLJ in connection with the merger.
RLJ Lodging Trust’s portfolio consists of 158 hotels with approximately 31,180 rooms located in 26 states and the District of Columbia and an ownership interest in one unconsolidated hotel with 171 rooms.